Guyana Gold Fields makes tangible donation towards Heritage Celebrations.
Guyana Gold Fields Inc. has partnered with the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs for the successful hosting of this year’s Indigenous Heritage Village Day Celebrations set for St. Cuthberts Mission, Region 4 on Saturday, September 9 and the celebration of the life and work of Stephen Campbell and other notable indigenous persons set for September 18.
The company also made a financial donation to St. Cuthberts Mission for the construction of an Eco-Lodge there.
The company’s CSR Field Assistant Leon Roberts made the presentation to Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs Valerie Garrido –Lowe and representatives from St. Cuthberts Mission at a simple yet significant handing over ceremony at her office leading up to these activities.
Minister Garrido-Lowe in thanking Guyana Gold Fields Inc. for its continued support noted that “they are good cooperate citizens and I’m happy to have them on board and their continued support is needed. Thank you very much and we will continue to work together to build our country and our hinterland in a sustainable way”.
In addition to receiving monies to support the village day activities, the community also received a tangible donation for the construction of an eco-lodge which will be located in view of the Village landing.
Minister Garrido-Lowe who has been an advocate for sustainable eco-tourism activities within villages said, “We are going green and supporting eco-tourism in the hinterland; therefore, a lodge in St. Cuthberts would really be great for people to stay when they go, in an eco-friendly surrounding. Right now, they have a guest house but that is not enough for everybody going up for the heritage who would want to stay on the night of the 9th, so that’s a plus for them and I’m looking forward to that”.
After receiving the donation Lenox Shuman who is the Toshao of the Village pointed out that “the community has enjoyed a very healthy relationship with Guyana Gold Fields and we appreciate it, they have provided a lot of tangible resources to the community and provided stability to families so we look forward to growing that relationship. We are happy that Guyana Gold Fields have pledged some money towards that and I think this is just the first steps in getting it right, and we look forward to that”.
According to Shuman the construction of the lodge is expected to begin immediately following the hosting of the Heritage Village Day Celebration since some materials have already been procured.
Speaking to the Village Day Celebrations the Toshao said he is grateful for the support received from the company and his team on the ground is working assiduously to ensure the successful hosting of the event which is an annual attraction during the September Month Festivities.
Meanwhile, CSR Field Assistant Leon Roberts noted that “Guyana Gold Fields is pleased to continue our relationship with supporting cultural development in Guyana. We have done similarly for arrival and emancipation and now its heritage month and we want to celebrate with our first peoples in an appropriate manner, and every year we do support the efforts of the Ministry in recognizing individuals who have contributed to the cause of the indigenous peoples in Guyana”.
He also noted the longstanding relationship shared with St. Cuthberts Mission and the donation for the construction of an eco-lodge according to Roberts is “in keeping with our mandate to support sustainable activities with communities that we engage with”.
St. Cuthberts Mission also known as Pakuri Village is located approximately and hour drive East off the Soesdyke/Linden Highway and is home to close to fifteen hundred residents.
Last year the village was selected to host this year’s Village Day Celebrations and in doing so a number of critical works were undertaken including the sprucing up of a number of buildings as well as the construction of a new Benab located in the center of the village which will host the formal activities.
Security measures including cordoning off of the area close to the Village Landing is in place as well as upgrades to the main thoroughfare into the village with assistance from the Guyana Defence Force.
The 2017 Indigenous Heritage Month of Activities is being celebrated under the theme: “Guyana’s First Peoples: Sustaining a Rich Cultural Environment”.