New laws to protect children likely

Guyana Chronicle
August 26, 2001

NEW laws to protect children are likely, President Bharrat Jagdeo signalled yesterday.

At the annual fun day for orphans put on by the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG), he declared his support for such a move and said he looks forward to the day when new laws backing protection of the child can be passed in Guyana.

There have been recent cases of child abuse which have triggered concern in the society.

Referring to the work of the CIOG as exemplary, the Head of State urged members to continue to work together for the protection of children, particularly since society is judged by the way it takes care of its young.

Mr. Jagdeo had warm words of encouragement and advice for the scores of orphans gathered at the headquarters of the Muslim Youth Organisation (MYO) in Georgetown for the annual fun day yesterday.

The gist of the President's message to youths was that they realise their potential, strive for high ideals, and not harbour the feeling that simply because they are orphans they do not have a place in society.

He told them that they too can aspire to become President or occupy other distinguished positions in Guyana some day.

Congratulating the CIOG for its charitable programme in society, he described the work of that body as "unmatched" by any other organisation in the country, and pledged his commitment to helping it in any way possible.

Under the CIOG's Orphan and Destitute programme, it lavishly provided for some 360 orphans drawn from Skeldon; West Berbice; East and West Coast Demerara; East and West Bank Demerara; Essequibo Coast and Islands, Georgetown and Bartica.

They were invited to spend the day with their guardians and sponsors at the MYO ground.

In addition to a hearty lunch and well-packed take home packages, the orphans enjoyed themselves on pony rides; air castles; trampolines and other games provided.

Bursary awards were also distributed to nine orphans on behalf of the CIOG, Zakaat House and other sponsors.

Eight of the awardees were successful at the Secondary Schools Entrance Examination (SSEE) or Common Entrance Examination, and one at the Secondary Schools Proficiency Examination (SSPE).

Two of the awards were handed over by President Jagdeo to Deodat Pesaud and Mervin Mohamed.

The event was sponsored by the CIOG in collaboration with the Zakaat House of Kuwait and other Muslim sponsors.

Zakaat House is an organisation based in Kuwait, and currently sponsors 890 orphans.

All orphans receive assistance in the areas of education, social, medical and finance, CIOG said.

The event, which has been an annual feature for the last several years, is in keeping with the teachings of Islam, which emphasise: "Be kind to orphans."

The programme started seven years ago with 23 children and grew to 360, CIOG said.

It said more than $800,000 per month is spent on this programme.