Food for the Poor intensifying skills training programme
- Chairman Chan-A-Sue

Guyana Chronicle
May 10, 2003

Related Links: Articles on poverty
Letters Menu Archival Menu

CHAIRMAN of the Board of Food for the Poor (Guyana) Inc, Mr Paul Chan-A-Sue has announced that FFP will be intensifying its skills training programme this year.

He said, as FFP moves to bolster people development and poverty alleviation, it will place emphasis, on helping more of the less fortunate to acquire know-how for enhancing their lives.

Towards this objective, FFP will soon embark on a vocational training project targeting 30 school dropouts between the ages of 14 and 18 years, from Festival City, Georgetown.

The beneficiaries will be trained at the former Guyana Stores Limited building, in that same North Ruimveldt community, which FFP recently acquired in a bidding process.

Chan-A-Sue said the target group will be taught sewing, carpentry, cookery, Elementary English and Mathematics.

He revealed that, on Essequibo Coast, approximately 200 persons are involved in a sewing enterprise, making bed sheets, bags, mats, shoes and pot holders, with FFP supplying the sewing machines and fabric.

Chan-A-Sue said FFP is intensifying the skills training drive countrywide and, sewing groups, in particular, have been aided by his institution.

He said, with the extension of services to the poor, FFP is also putting greater emphasis on staff development so as to ensure its mission and vision remain firmly in focus.

Speaking at a Thursday news conference in the boardroom at their Blue Mountain Road, Festival City headquarters, to review the FFP 2002 year, Chan-A-Sue said there has been a tremendous expansion of their thrust in recent years and supplies from last year, still on hand, are expected to last until July or August.

In addition, for 2003, USAID has made a grant 2,400 tonnes of non-fat dry milk which should arrive in 10 containers, each with 20 tonnes, every month.

Chan-A-Sue said that largesse will be distributed to children by schools and health centres, through collaboration between Ministries of Education and Health, but benevolent homes and orphanages are among other vulnerable sectors of society, which would benefit, as well.

He said, having regard to the socio-economic considerations that are largely responsible for absenteeism in schools, surveys will be done prior to and after the launch of the milk-feeding programme, to determine the impact on attendance.

FFP Executive Director Leon Davis said it is the largest charity in this country and makes a significant impact on the lives of Guyanese, as it continues to deliver humanitarian aid to the deserving at coastal and rural locations.

He said their delivery is done at the individual level and through groups and community services.

Reporting on the financial year, he said the local office distributed $1,773,983,041 in goods and other assistance to the poor.

Davis said the 2002 financial report, audited by the firm Ram and McRae, revealed that total current assets stood at $19,175,113, less than the $25,057,239 at 2001 year end.

Total current liabilities last year-end was valued at $1,862,447 as compared to $19,280,326 on December 31, 2001.

Davis said, reflective of the economic realities of the time, there were no bad debts at the end of 2001 but FFP racked up $592,000 in that column in 2002.

He disclosed that the major FFP donors are Food for the Poor (Miama) Inc and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

FFP received close to $620M worth of food items from United States Government through USDA in a September 2002 shipment of 173 containers with almost 5.5 million pounds of foodstuff, comprising textured soy protein (protein chunks) wheat flour, cornmeal, non-fat milk, pinto beans, corn soy milk and vegetable oil.

FFP was established here in June 1991 and seeks to assist both the materially poor and the poor in spirit, while serving without regard to race, religion or creed, said a document circulated at the news conference.

Site Meter