Minster Ally meets with NOC; Five receive Presidential Pardon.

On Wednesday 13th September 2017, Minister of Social Protection, Hon. Amna Ally, paid a visit to the New Opportunity Corp for a site visit and meeting with staffers.

Minister Amna Ally, whose Ministry was given charge of the institution by H.E. President David Granger in early 2017, from the Department of Culture, Youth and Sport of the Ministry of Education, touched on some institutional changes and developments which are to be implemented soon.

In the light of the recent breach at the institution where four juveniles escaped, the need to heighten security was addressed along with efforts to rectify those breaches in the shortest possible time. It should be noted that three of the four juveniles who escaped have since been returned to the institute.

Structural improvements to the facility was another matter which was highlighted with construction and renovations to commence before the end of 2017. Mr. Ryan Baichu, Principle Assistant Secretary (ag), along with engineering consultants took a walk through to put things in place for these structural developments.

NOC staff members present at the meeting indicated that the implementation of additional staff would greatly help to alleviate the challenges which the institute presently face; movements are afoot to address this issue.

Minister Amna Ally brought to the fore programs which the institution would have implemented to help with the reintegration of juveniles back into society. The Minister was given an overview as to the successes of these programs and future plans to keep the youth gainfully occupied as they develop different vocational training and skills. These programs include information technology, agriculture, welding and fabrication, catering, sewing, electrical, joinery, and steel pan. The NOC recently partnered with the State Asset Recovery Agency (SARA) to train some of the youths from the institution in information technology. Additionally, the youths from the institution will be displaying their handiwork at a booth during the On Show Guyana festivities being held on September 29th 2017.

Ms. Ann Greene, Director of Childcare and Protection Agency, who was present at the meeting indicated the need for the young people to have foundational learning in literacy and calculations. The Regional Executive Officer, Mr. Rupert Hopkinson, in light of this point was given the task of sourcing two teachers in the interim to carry on the foundational learning programs; a building to conduct these classes was also identified.

The NOC is on its way to fully become a self-sufficient institution as it maintains not only different livestock such as cows, sheep, goats, chicken and swine but farm lands with crops such as callaloo, ochra, cabbage and bora; which not only helps with the catering classes but with the feeding of those in the care of the institution.

Minister Ally in her closing remarks encouraged the staff to make a change, help the children and resolve to transform them from their past.

On a directive from HE President David Granger, Hon. Amna Ally during her meeting announced the pardon of five females of the NOC ranging from ages thirteen to sixteen. The release of these individuals will be effective from September 15th 2017. In a motivational speech to the young ladies Hon. Amna Ally encouraged them to keep on the right path; they in turn thanked Hon. Amna Ally and asked her to convey their appreciation to HE President David Granger.

Other officers of the Ministry of Social Protection who were present at the meeting included Director of Social Services, Mr. Whenworth Tanner, Ms. Rhonda Nelson of the SLED Initiative and Ms. Alicia Reece, Advisor to Minister Amna Ally.

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