Domestic violence survivors benefitting from Grocery Voucher Programme
One hundred domestic violence survivors are set to benefit from the $1.5 million Women’s Grocery Voucher Programme, dubbed “SAFE—Stop Abuse, Stay Empowered”.
The programme, which was launched on Friday, at the Massy Distribution headquarters at Montrose, East Coast Demerara, is a collaboration between the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and Massy Stores.
It will see each woman receiving a grocery voucher valued $15,000, redeemable at any of the five Massy Stores locations at Providence, Turkeyen, Montrose, Vreed-en-Hoop and Ruimveldt.
Speaking at the launch, Human Services and Social Security Minister, Dr Vindhya Persaud revealed that the voucher programme is one of many that ties into the Ministry’s plan to support persons who are suffering from abuse.
“People leave, and they leave when they have to leave; when they cannot bear it anymore. They leave many times with nothing… They won’t leave because they think there’s nothing out there. So then came the survivors’ kit,” she explained.
The survivors’ kit is a package which contains necessities including toiletries, towels, masks, and food items, among other items.
The Minister also highlighted the need for persons to become involved in mental health awareness initiatives.
In order to make the necessary impact on the lives of the vulnerable, she explained, each person needs to become engaged and involved in the effort to assist them.
“This requires partnership, this requires ownership, and it requires using whatever authority you have,” the Minister noted.
Senior Vice President of Massy Group Guyana, Navindra Thakur assured that the company will continue to honour its corporate social responsibility. He also lauded the Human Services Ministry for its efforts.
Assistant Vice President and Head of Massy’s Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Steering Committee, Christpen Bobb-Semple, shared similar sentiments, noting that the objectives of the SAFE voucher programme are twofold.
“One, to empower women by bringing immediate relief to them so that they do not have to second-guess and subject themselves to abusive and at-risksituations; and two, to engender positive behaviours [in men]”, Bob-Semple noted.
The initiative is just one of the group’s humanitarian efforts, many of which pertain to mental health wellbeing and awareness, suicide prevention, and domestic violence.