Human Services Ministry host community outreach in Albion
-residents benefit from counselling, health services
The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security today, took its community outreach programme to Albion to address issues affecting residents in the East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) community.
Minister, Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud, said the Government has embarked upon a robust public engagement programme aimed at creating linkages between the people and Central Government. It also aims to ensure the public has access to key services being offered by the State. The Minister made this statement during her address at the opening of the event held at the Albion Community Centre Ground.
“From where I sit, I would like to ensure that our systems from the Ministry function efficiently and effectively. So, this gives us an opportunity to assess the performance of our officers across the country because from people you get feedback – did you go to the office; were you given a hard time; did you have a run around – so that we can fix those things because you’re only as good as the way you serve people,” she said.
Minister Persaud noted some of the major challenges facing Region Six and several other areas across the country. Those include the lack of sufficient human and other resources to deal with issues of child abuse, domestic violence, pensions and public assistance.
As it relates to child abuse and domestic violence, she said those issues will be tackled through the Ministry’s 914 hotline, and the Spotlight Initiative, an anti-violence campaign, and the Survivors Advocates Programme. The Ministry would also be opening two one-stop Child Advocacy Centres for the reporting and treatment of child sexual abuse.
Minister Persaud said the programmes outlined would be executed in partnership with non-governmental organisations. Further, the Ministry is also working with the religious community to provide counselling to persons, as well as to identify vulnerable populations within communities to provide them with the necessary support.
Today’s exercise addressed issues including pension and public assistance, difficult circumstances cases, elderly and child welfare, and youth social issues. Persons also benefited from eye and dental care, counselling and HIV, blood pressure and sugar testing. A new group of young influencers attached to the Ministry also engaged young people on peer pressure, cyberbullying, and mental health issues.