Supporting the army of volunteers
Guyana Chronicle
March 21, 2003

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DESPITE increasing wealth being generated globally, poverty has been increasing in many societies and the gap between the rich and poor has been continuously widening.

This situation has been compounded by the seemingly endless violent conflicts and wars that have emerged in many parts of the world.

The reality of the situation is that the suffering of the vulnerable and the poor and downtrodden has dramatically multiplied to unbearable levels - causing untold destruction to human lives, especially those of innocent children, whose only crime, perhaps is to have come into this world.

Most notably such suffering plagues the poorer countries of the world, and governments in these nations, faced with limited financial and human resources, are finding it impossible to cope with the seemingly insurmountable problems. At the same time ironically, trillions are being spent on stockpiling military armaments by some countries for instilling further suffering.

So what options are there to help the suffering, vulnerable sections of the world? Not many and as a result, some from this section of society most unfortunately have fallen prey to the drug lords and drug trade and other nefarious activities, inevitably compounding and worsening the plight of society.

There has, however, been a large army of human volunteers dedicated towards the alleviation of the plight of their brothers and sisters, making tremendous sacrifices, sometimes the ultimate one.

This dedicated army of people, through voluntary organisations, such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army and so many others, has been performing invaluable service to humanity.

Guyana, being among the poor and undeveloped countries of the world, has a significant proportion of its population that is classified as vulnerable, but fortunately, there are several humanitarian organisations manned by noble and dedicated Guyanese who are providing assistance to the poorer sections of society.

Unfortunately, the work of these voluntary organizations is not given the support, attention and recognition befitting their contribution. As such many organisations are themselves struggling to exist because of lack of resources.

Therefore, society should do much more to lend support to ensure that these organisations continue to effectively function and realise their noble aim of giving comfort and relief to the more needy persons in our society.

Perhaps it is time that a special day be set aside to honour these truly noble soldiers of benevolence and humanitarian deeds.

Recently, one bank official at a presentation ceremony to local service organisations aptly observed: "Because little is known about their value to society, it has been difficult for these organisations to realise their full potential, and in particular to make a more substantial contribution to the local economy."

He added: "We therefore see it as part of our social and corporate responsibility to support these organisations, and it is our wish that every such organisation that strives for similar aims is fully supported by the business community and individuals."

This is indeed a very encouraging and optimistic observation and commitment by a corporate citizen, and it would be even more encouraging if many other corporate citizens and others would heed this timely and pertinent call, in the effort by these service organisations to bring some relief and consolation to our less fortunate brothers and sisters.

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