First lady joins Ministers in Region 9 for toy distribution, receives key to Lethem

First Lady of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, HE Arya Ali was on Friday handed a key to the town of Lethem where she joined two Ministers for a toy distribution exercise in several communities across the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo region.

Presenting the First Lady with a key to the country’s most southern town was Mayor John Macedo. Upon her arrival, the First Lady was also greeted by Deputy Mayor Debra King.

The key is a symbolic instrument which, when given to officials, indicates that town’s willingness to grant unrestricted access to the official who is then considered a honourary resident.

HE Arya Ali then joined Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, and Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond who arrived in the region two days prior.

Together, the three officials visited six Amerindian communities to distribute toys and the Ministry of Education’s $4,000 cash grant which was provided to every child.

The communities visited were: Quarrie, Kumu, Moco Moco, Hiowa, Nappi, and Parishara.

In addition to toys and the cash grants, masks and other items such as television sets and bicycles were distributed to schools and residents.

Those communities were informed of the First Lady’s intention to introduction a website to exclusively market indigenous products locally, regionally and internationally.

Minister Manickchand also informed the communities of ongoing efforts by her Ministry to have a satellite dish and television sets brought in to each community to allow children to access the learning channel even as schools remain closed.

Residents of those villages also used the opportunity to raise concerns with the officials and lobby for remedial actions. Among the issues raised were the lack of economic opportunities and training for young people.

HE Arya Ali relayed her plans to have training opportunities provided to some of these residents through the Carnegie School of Home Economics and the Kuru Kuru Training Centre.

The First Lady is currently in discussions with the proprietor of Eco-Wood, Mr. Nizam Ameerally, to have training in woodworking provided to Amerindians who are interested in that field of work.

Meanwhile, some of those villages informed HE Arya Ali that she is the first First Lady to have visited them.

The First Lady said that she viewed this as an honour, since it is her intention to remain accessible to the people of Guyana, and to use her platform and her Office to provide support to groups and individuals that are in need.

“I will continue to recognize my role as a servant of the people of Guyana and will use every available means to help to improve their lives,” the First Lady said.