President Ali joins GDF ranks for Christmas Lunch at Kaikan
– Assures them of greater educational opportunities, brighter future
His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali today assured the Guyana Defence Force officers stationed at Kaikan in Region Seven (Cuyuni- Mazaruni) that greater opportunities will be afforded to them in education and personal development.
The Head of State gave this assurance as he joined the ranks and residents for Christmas Lunch in the community.
“I have no doubt that you have it in you. By acting upon your calling to serve your country, you will honour this responsibility. I appreciate too that the Executive has a role to ensure that you are treated well; to ensure that you have opportunities before you, to ensure that when you exit this segment of your life that you will be prepared and equipped to enter other areas or fields to continue your contribution to national development. This is important for you and your families.”
President Ali explained that come next year, the ranks will benefit from scholarships and training.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
“Beginning next year, we will commence a programme to launch 20,000 new scholarships. Importantly, many of these diplomas, degrees and certificates will be achieved through distance or online training, giving you the opportunity to also participate. And I assure you in this location; our health workers, our teachers that these opportunities will meet you and you will be able to achieve your educational goals even in these locations, even with the difficulties of the pandemic.”
The President reiterated that even though a large portion of the budget will be used to mitigate issues surrounding the pandemic, Government is still going to deliver to the men and women in uniform.
“I assure you that not only are we concentrating on a bag of goodies at Christmas time, but we are concentrating on lifetime change, lifetime opportunity. And I assure you that during my tenure in office, your life, your family life will be better and you will be better equipped for the future.”
He also announced to the ranks that in their next pay slip they will receive two weeks of tax-free bonus.
President Ali then expressed appreciation to those gathered for their sacrifices and commitment as well and their loyalty to the people of Guyana. He then urged them to break down the prejudices and to serve selflessly as they strive to accomplish their mission. He also pointed to the merits of greater community involvement.
“I want to say to you that we have a bright future for Guyana in uniting this country, I depend on all of you in helping to unite this country. You are stationed here, see the unity of our country as part of your responsibility. There is no doubt that your life will improve, your condition of service will improve, your salary will improve. There is no doubt that our economy will expand. But if we are not united, if we cannot stand strong together, then we cannot fully appreciate and truly enjoy the benefits of that prosperity.”
The President challenged the officers present to select three most eligible ranks, from amongst themselves, to be given University of Guyana scholarships.
The Head of State also announced that resources will be set aside in the 2021 budget for one of the reserves, Mr Marlon Daniels, to visit the community and work with residents to fix the water system.
In addition, the President pointed to the need for adequate lighting at the airstrips.
“So with these words, I wish all of you a season that is curtailed and tempered because of the pandemic, but one that brings to you and your family a healthier future, a more prosperous future and one in which we’ll be able to reflect upon as a positive advancement of your lives.”
Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Godfrey Bess also addressed the ranks and extended appreciation to the Head of State for his unprecedented engagement in the community.
Following a cultural programme, the Commander in Chief, as is customary, served the GDF ranks and joined them in the festivities.