Indian heritage group opens headquarters
To counsel victims of violence
February 3, 2003
The Head Office of the Guyana Indian Heritage Association (GIHA) was officially opened on Friday in part to offer counselling to persons affected by violence.
This is one of GIHA’s first steps as it moves towards expanding its activities. “We were all working from our homes and that made logistics a nightmare at times. Now that we will be able to work more efficiently, we plan to expand our activities since the office gives us a meeting place and a place where people can meet us,” GIHA President Ryhaan Shah said in a press statement.
The office, which is to be managed by an administrator, is located at 37 A Third Street, Alberttown and will be open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 2.30 pm. GIHA’s executive members will be present at the office every Wednesday evening from 5.30 pm.
Speaking at Friday’s opening Shah said GIHA at its beginning had been primarily a cultural entity. But with the burgeoning ethnic violence of the last year she said the decision was made to expand its mandate. “We were getting more serious about ourselves and getting ourselves organised.”
Shah told Stabroek News that through counselling sessions and in extreme cases, monetary aid, GIHA has begun working with victims to alleviate the trauma and loss which they had suffered.
She did however maintain that the cultural aspect of GIHA was still extremely im-portant and that the organisation was still encouraging communities to be proud of their heritage.
Shah also said persons have expressed interest in establishing offices in Berbice and Essequibo but noted that it was necessary to make sure such groups were properly managed.