Women’s group for special children allocated $1.7M last year
Bids farewell to stalwart members

Stabroek News
June 13, 2003

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The United Women for Special Children last week held its Annual General Meeting at the Dutch Bottle Café where it also hosted a lunch to bid farewell to two of its outstanding members.

Wesley Ann Godard, wife of US Ambassador and Gigi De Visscher, wife of the European Union Ambassador have been very active and vibrant members of the UWSC during their stay in Guyana.

A press release from the group says that over the past year, the UWSC has allocated $1.7M, an increase of $648,298 over 2001, to the various special needs schools and charities it helps. Assistance is in the form of feeding programmes, transportation allowances for special needs children to attend schools when the parents are unable to afford it, additional teachers salary - where there is a shortage of teachers supplied by the Ministry, physiotherapy sessions and boarding for a special needs child to attend training to develop his skills in joinery. These funds were spent on the David Rose School for the Handicapped, the Diamond Special Needs School, New Amsterdam Special Needs School and the Outdoor Centre.

In addition, earlier in the year, an Oto Acoustic Emission (OAE) Screener was donated to the Audiology Department of the Georgetown Hospital. A cheque of $70,000 was also handed over to the Special Olympics Committee to assist the children attending the Special Olympics in Ireland next month.

The UWSC was started in 1987 and its purpose is to assist children with special needs to better themselves in health and education.

The main fundraising event is its Annual Bazaar sale held annually in November. Members contribute their culinary, craft and horticultural skills to make items for this event. Funds are also received from membership dues and donations.

In 1999, the UWSC launched a cookbook ‘International Cooking-Guyana Style’ consisting of recipes by Guyanese and foreigners. Ingredients for the recipes are all available locally. A fourth reprint of the cookbook has been completed and these are available at bookstores.

The recently held piano recital by John Vanneste,’Romance in May’, by GEMS Theatre Productions added another $150,000 to the Club’s finances.

At its AGM, outgoing President, Gem Madhoo-Nascimento, who served three years as President, thanked all for their support and confidence in the club and encouraged them to continue the good work of the organization.

The new Executive Committee consists of: Ann Geer - President; Nisa Walker - Vice President, Yasmeen Alim - Secretary and Dia Persaud - Assistant Secretary/Treasurer.

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