Guyana Relief Council hosts fundraising buffet
Guyana Chronicle
May 6, 2002

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THE Guyana Relief Council (GRC) yesterday hosted a successful fundraising buffet luncheon that was sponsored by the New Thriving Restaurant, Brickdam and Camp Streets.

Chairperson of the Guyana Relief Council, Mrs. Yvonne Hinds, wife of Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, delivered the welcome address at the event, and said that this year, the GRC has been overwhelmed with requests for assistance.

“At the end of April, we have helped more than 50 families consisting of over 250 persons, who suffered disasters of varying degrees in all ten Regions of Guyana. And this does not include the welfare assistance which we have given to a number of individuals who have ‘hard times’ and to the hinterland communities of Gunn Strip, Matthew’s Ridge, Mahdia, Kato, Itabai and other villages in Region Eight,” Mrs. Hinds disclosed.

She added: “We are now in the process of assisting the more than 75 persons from 12 families, whose homes were destroyed by fire on May 1. One staff member, Ms. Nicole Butts, and one Committee member, literally dropped what they were doing on May Day, to go into the GRC and have relief packages ready within hours of learning of the fire. This type of commitment to service of others needs recognition.”

Mrs. Hinds told the gathering that disasters do not discriminate or indicate when they will strike. Therefore preparedness is essential.

Ladies and gentlemen, disasters do not discriminate nor are you forewarned that one would be imminent. We at the GRC have been made painfully aware of this when the building we occupied in South Road was destroyed by fire, as was the New Thriving restaurant, and the residence of our Secretary Mrs. Rolyn Vander Meer earlier this year. So we at the GRC are working with first hand knowledge. We do understand the needs and are doing our utmost to tailor the assistance to those needs,” Mrs. Hinds declared.

She informed the gathering that the Temporary Shelter building for victims of fires is now complete, bringing into reality one of the GRC’s dreams. However, the Shelter is not yet fully operational because it has not been furnished. The Council hopes to install some furniture and water tanks, and to have a working capital for a minimum period of three months before the Temporary Shelter will be opened for victims.

The fundraiser yesterday was part of the GRC’s efforts to provide the working capital for the Shelter.

Mrs. Hinds said that the presence of all those who attended the event is an indication of their confidence in the GRC and assured that its members will remain committed, accountable and transparent in fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of the organisation.

The GRC Chairman also used the opportunity of yesterday’s function to salute East Indians on the occasion of the 164th anniversary of their arrival in Guyana.

“Let us recognise the contributions of a people who arrived here 164 years from the breast of their mother India. Let us recognise the great contribution of all the people who came to Guyana and may we their descendants work together since we can claim birthright to no other land or no other country. Let us contribute to a better Guyana by celebrating our beautiful people and our diverse cultural heritage,” exhorted Mrs. Hinds.

The luncheon attracted a wide cross-section of society including members of the Diplomatic Corps. (Chamanlall Naipaul)