Nurturing vulnerable minds

―Children and Family Care Centre providing second chances

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Twenty-five children transitioning from difficult circumstances are being cared for at the $250Million Children and Family Care Centre which opened about five months ago in Plum Park, Sophia.

Supervisor Bissoondai Rayman told DPI that the children were receiving the necessary care to help re-integrate them into society.

“These children would have endured so many things … for one reason or another they are here, and they need love and attention, some of them don’t get that. However, it is offered here at the top of our list,” she said.

Rayman noted that the children receive three meals daily, transportation to and from school or daycare, recreational and prayer sessions. Professionals also provide health check-ups and counselling sessions for the children.

“We are trying to make a difference; we show them that they possess untapped life skills, and how they can better themselves. We are showing them that whatever caused them to be placed here is not the final chapter in their life. There is a future ahead of them,” the supervisor said.

Maylene Rigby, a Social Service Assistant at the Centre, said that her job comes with great responsibility and providing moral guidance. “My job is to ensure the children’s clothes are well kept, their meals provided on time, ensure their beds are made, [and] that the children remember to observe their prayers.”

She added that it also has its challenges since they are dealing with children who come from different backgrounds with varied experiences. According to Rigby, it requires patience to help the children to adjust to life at the Centre.

The centre can accommodate 80 persons at a time and serves as a temporary sanctuary for at-risk children and families. It comprises seven buildings which include dormitory facilities for boys and girls; living quarters for up to eight families; kitchen; dining room; administration building and training facilities.

The Ministry of Social Protection constructed the facility after the then Drop-In Centre on Hadfield Street was gutted by fire in 2016.

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