Clean-up tree planting exercise carried out at Parika Façade and Barns Avenue

– activity reflects true sense of Social Cohesion

– further training will be provided to community members

– support for community in further activities

DPI, Guyana, Friday, 05 October 2018

Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton and Regional Executive Officer (REO), Denis Jaikaran today joined the residents of Parika Façade and Barns Avenue in a Community Clean up and Tree Planting exercise.

The activity was organised by the Community Development Council (CDC) of Parika and forms part of their calendar of activities to promote Social Cohesion within their community.

At a formal ceremony to launch the activity, Minister Norton congratulated the members of the CDC group for stepping up to the call and executing a community project.

“This is a bold step in the right direction and you the members of the CDC must be congratulated. I want you to know that I am extremely proud of this move and even happier to know that I am here, not as a facilitator, but as a guest. You all did it at the local level without central government directing anything. This is magnanimous progress in our country. This activity reflects the true meaning of Social Cohesion,” said Minister Norton.

He further reminded the more than two hundred persons gathered that the vision of the Department of Social Cohesion is to see a unified Guyana where diversities are embraced, conflicts resolved, networks and collaboration with stakeholders strengthened, equity promoted, and decision-making processes result in equal opportunities and benefits for all. Also, the minister said that the core values of his department are integrity, trust, service, transparency and accountability, reliability, responsiveness and inclusivity.

Project Coordinator at the Department of Social Cohesion, Sharon Patterson said that the activity planned and executed at the Parika Façade is in keeping with the mission of the Department.

“This activity is in keeping with our mission which is to support actions that strengthen key partnerships across sectors, facilitate bridging of gaps within and across communities and contribute to socio-economic, cultural, spiritual well-being and enriched livelihoods,” said Sharon Patterson. She also assured the community that further training in Social Cohesion will be provided to the community through the Department.

REO Denis Jaikaran, in his remarks, noted that Social Cohesion is a process of nurturing individual and community relationships for building a unified Guyana. “This is community involvement. This is working together. We must remove the acids in our minds and fill it with love, harmony and togetherness for our children will enjoy the fruit of the trees we plant,” said Jaikaran who also pledged his office’s support for future activities .

Vice Chairman of the CDC group John Raggobeer said, “What we are doing here today is physically cleaning our environment and physically planting trees, but we are symbolizing to the world that teamwork brings success and that the tree represents us and if we are to get sweet fruits and true beauty from the trees we must care them and treat them well hence we are the trees and we must care each other and treat each other with love and respect and our environment will be rid of the negativities.”

The first tree was planted by Minister Norton and the second by the REO. Over fifty trees were planted. The clean-up activity began earlier in the morning and saw almost all residents participating in beautifying their community.

Story and Images: Ganesh Mahipaul