President Ali’s heartfelt ‘letter to Guyana’s children’ urges solidarity, empathy in face of tragedy
His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, in the wake of the deadly fire that has sent shockwaves and mourning across the nation, has urged the children of Guyana to look out for each other, shouldering each other’s burdens, as the country celebrates its 57th Independence.
During the Night of Reflection and flag raising ceremony held in Lethem, Region Nine on Thursday evening, President Ali acknowledged the pain of the nation as Guyanese struggle to come to terms with the loss of 19 children as a result of the blaze.
He noted that though tragedy is an unwelcome guest, it has the unintended consequence of uniting people. As such, he pointed out, it is in times of great distress that people tend to come together to express their shared humanity through acts of empath, kindness, solace and support.
The head of state expressed his appreciation for the strong outpour of support both locally and internationally.
President Ali also underlined the importance of unity and cooperation during this time.
“This tragic day must bring all of you closer together in your schools. Value your friendships. Share abundantly your love and kindness. Shoulder each other’s pains. Counsel each other with wisdom and pressure each other only with good thoughts and actions.
“Never forget the fragility of life. Open yourself to good counsel. Be respectful. Pay tribute to your teachers. Reach for the most distraught among you and give them your hands of friendship. Share from your abundance among those who least have; and always remember, this is your home in which you are gifted life.”
The president also urged them to ensure that they live meaningful lives, and not squander their opportunities so that the dreams of those who perished can live on.
“You must now take their dreams, their aspirations and their hopes and realise that through each of you, they will live, they will shine and their parents and loved ones will find peace in your successes and your presence. Forget not the beautiful memories. Cherish the times you share, knowing at all times that your family is all of us. All of us belong to one mother; this land, our land, Guyana, the free,” Dr. Ali expressed.
He, therefore, urged Guyanese to remember the struggles and sacrifices of their ancestors as they face this tragedy, drawing inspiration from the resilience and determination of past generations to overcome present challenges.
“Tragedy, though painful as it is, offers that branch of healing… [it] is not a weapon of self-convenience and selfishness. It is not an occasion for aimless rhetoric. Rather, it occasions a deeper understanding of life and requires greater maturity to project a platform for healing, one in which the collective whole is more important than self-ambitions. We confront these challenges as a people, and as a government that you can trust.”