The Annual Orphans & Vulnerable Children Day was celebrated on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at the Muslim Youth Organization, Woolford Avenue, Thomas Lands, Georgetown.? Children enjoyed games and various rides. Gifts were distributed? to all the children who attended this program. During various presentations the students were advised to take their studies seriously and work hard to accomplish their dreams. Bursary awards and certificate of accomplishments were awarded to students who excelled in the grade six assessment examination and the CXC.
Guyana’s Minister Culture, Youth and Sports Dr. Frank Anthony and Member of Parliament Bibi Shadeek were in attendance at the event.?
The Chairman of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Committee of Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (CIOG), Shaykh Safraz Bacchus highlighted some of the success of stories. ? Shaykh Bacchus indicated that children have been mentored and sponsored making it possible for students in the program to continue their studies to the University of Guyana and the Guyana Teachers College as well as the? facilitation of? job opportunities.
Shaykh Bacchus said that the philosophy of the CIOG is “that every child regardless of their social status or background should? have an equal chance in life. He or she should should have an equal opportunity in life. A vulnerable child should not be marginalized.? They should at no time feel left out.”?? He added that “We are commanded (by God) to show them love, compassion and care. We should be kind to them and always approach them with a smiling face. It is our belief that every child should have a caring? adult in their life, that’s not necessarily a biological or a family member. It may be a friend or a neighbour or a caring person. We (the CIOG) stand as that friend, we stand as that neighbor, we stand as that caring person. Investing in the vulnerable children is priority for the CIOG because children are the future. They are our future leaders.”
?Currently the Orphan & Vulnerable Children’s Program? has approximately 360 soul’s enjoying it’s benefits.? Children from other religious denomination do particiapte in this program. ? The total payout on a monthly basis reaches to 1.5 million Guyana dollars . Children are not only benefiting from a monthly stipend but also school tuition fees, lesson fees, text book fees, back to school package, medical checkup, vitamins distribution and gifts on special occasions.
Sabrina Farouk is one out of many who went through our program from primary education to secondary – she served as a teacher at the Meten Meer Zorg academy and currently persuing her university education.? Aleena Edun attended Bishops High School and later further her studies in Cuba after receiving? a scholarship from the government of Guyana.
Sponsors of these children are members of the local community, Guyanese living in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, the West Indies, Abraham’s Tent and? Kuwait Zakaat House.
There is a waiting list of 150 orphan and/or vulnerable children seeking sponsorship.