Communities along Berbice River get early Christmas gifts from gov’t

Hundreds of children and teachers received close to 2,000 early Christmas gifts in the riverain villages of Berbice, Region Six distributed by Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill to get them in the holiday spirit.  

The Department of Public Information (DPI) was a part of the team visiting the communities on Thursday, where several teachers expressed their appreciation for the much-needed Christmas presents.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill with pupils during the toy distribution

A teacher of the Hururu Primary School, Holly Grewman applauded the initiative, noting that the students were indeed happy and fortunate to receive gifts compliments of the government.  

Holly Grewman, a teacher of Hururu Primary School

“It is just something that will brighten up their holiday. It’s a season of giving and showing love, so I think that they will really appreciate this and it will help them to socialise more with others,” she said.

Similarly, head teacher of Gateroy Primary School, Yonette Gladston was appreciative of the recognition her school received for serving the community for 27 years.

Gateroy Primary School head teacher, Yonette Gladston

 “We are happy for the gifts… because some of the children… parents cannot afford it. So, when they get these things, they feel happy. This is the second time that we are being recognised in the community. All the years before, that I have taught here, we never got this before,” she related.

Another Teacher from the same school, Romanda Bourne echoed similar sentiments.

Gateroy Primary School teacher, Romanda Bourne

She said, “With this toy drive, it can benefit all of the kids… I feel highly appreciated because it is something that was not done in the past years… and now it is being done. We are fully appreciative because we the teachers are being recognised in the hinterland areas.”

Over at the Maria Henrietta Primary School, teacher Tenisha Ross disclosed the financial situation faced by several parents made it difficult for them to get gifts for the children during this season. 

Teacher of Maria Henrietta Primary School, Tenisha Ross

“I am really happy because when we had the discussion, we had some parents who could not afford the gift exchange we plan to do”, she shared.

Meanwhile, laughter and excitement filled the classrooms of the other schools visited.

The children engaged in jovial conversation with Minister Edghill as they danced and sang Christmas carols. 

Grade Six pupil of Develdt Primary School, Jonelle Kertzious told the DPI that she felt happy, “that the President cares about us even though we are in grade six … I plan to take care of the gift and to remember the day when the President gave us gifts because soon, we are going away from grade six.”

Grade six pupil of Develdt Primary School, Jonelle Kertzious

Also, Kimbia Primary School teacher, Kemo Tom said now all children could have a joyful Christmas regardless of their circumstances.

Kimbia Primary School teacher, Kemo Tom

“A lot of parents cannot afford toys during the season because they have bills to pay. I like the activity that the government is doing bringing toys to the children and I must say that I am thankful for the gifts that the government give the teachers also.”

Additionally, Minister Edghill reminded that the government wants to ensure the holiday spirit is felt by many persons especially children who are in the riverine locations.

“We care about you. They are tokens to let you know that we are far away but you are still being thought of. For us, distance is not a barrier. [We are] …seeking to ensure that the same benefits that go to those who are in the centre will get to those of you who are far out,” the minister assured.

Minster Edghill, accompanied by Councillor Sancha Ali and School Welfare Officer Shekira Gorin, distributed toys to all 18 communities along the Berbice River.