‘One Guyana’ Park must be an uplifting, community-oriented space

President Ali urges as recreational park commissioned

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, has stressed the importance of ensuring that the newly-commissioned ‘One Guyana’ park in New Amsterdam remains a family-oriented space that is conducive to community building.

During the ceremony for the commissioning of the park on Friday, President Ali said recreational facilities such as the park are meant to provide safe spaces with elements of nature that can help persons to feel more at ease during their time of relaxation, and as such, reiterated the importance of cherishing the space.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali and First Lady, Mrs Arya Ali unveils the sign for the One Guyana Park in New Amsterdam

“That is why you see we have seating for community, we want to build the community spirit. As you come out as people in the community, as you sit together and talk to each other, you’ll be counselling each other indirectly. You’ll be sharing challenges, experiences. You’ll be able to know your neighbours, and that is what we want to occur out of it,” the president noted.

His Excellency also expressed his hope for the facility to become one that is conducive for women and children, and urged residents to support those with musical talents as they play for their communities.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali addressing the gathering

“We must encourage them. The businesses must support them coming out here on weekends and playing for the community. Give them financial support, motivational support. The region must come out and give them support so that the children will have an environment in which they can showcase their talents. This is what we want here; a cultural stage, a community stage. This is what will uplift the life here in New Amsterdam.”

President Ali highlighted the need for persons to abstain from negative practices that would taint the purpose for which the park was built.

Children enjoying the play area at the One Guyana Park in New Amsterdam

“This space is to be treated with respect. It’s a family-oriented space. This is not a space for abuse, liming, and all the other types of activities that do not come with a family-oriented space. This is not a rum shop, a beer garden, a minibus or taxi place, or a music-blazing competition square,” he asserted.

The head of state pointed out that mental health and community health are linked, therefore the town’s wellness will increase tremendously as persons develop a stronger sense of community and build deeper interpersonal connections.

A section of the gathering at the commissioning ceremony

“If we have communities that are infested with behaviours and types of activities that do not support social cohesion and social growth, then those communities will not be conducive for the development of mental health,” Dr Ali said.

He reiterated that the space is not one which will be rife with food vendors, but rather, one that will encourage families to ‘bring out their own baskets’ and spend time strengthening their bonds.

Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, noted that all aspects of the facility belong to Berbicians—especially as all eight of the contractors responsible for the execution of the project hail from the county.

Minister, Deodat Indar at the commissioning ceremony

As such, he urged residents to ensure that the space is well taken care of.

“We are asking you, please treat the park as a family space. Because when persons get a little intoxicated, and start to heckle other people and so on, it becomes something that we don’t want for Guyana, or New Amsterdam,” Minister Indar told residents.

The New Amsterdam One Guyana Park, valued at nearly $100 million, is one of the safe space projects being undertaken by the Office of the First Lady.

It was constructed in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, as well as members of the private sector.