Volunteer Youth Corps of Guyana hosting benefit brunch in Toronto
Stabroek News
November 12, 2003

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Volunteer Youth Corps (VYC) of Guyana has organised a fund-raising "Buffet Brunch and Entertainment" in Toronto, Canada on Sunday to initiate the first Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentorship Programme in Guyana and South America.

According to a news release, the mentorship programme will seek to enhance and make a difference in the lives of children of single parents or low-income families who have an increased chance of being affected by HIV/AIDS.

The release said that Canadian High Commiss-ioner to Guyana, Serge Marcoux, in recognition of the work of VYC, has offered to lend his patronage to this event and will be the keynote speaker. This function also has the support of the Guyana Consul General in Toronto, Danny Doobay.

The function will be held at the Rembrandt Banquet Hall located at 930 Progress & Markham Roads and the VYC has been assisted in organising this fund-raiser by Canadian organisations Guyana Christian Charities (GCC) and Future Watch Environmental Development and Education Partners (EDEP).

Guyana is one of the countries most affected by HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean, the release noted, and the effects of this are particularly evident in young people below thirty as a direct result of limited education, social and economic depression, and access to employment.

The mentorship programme which is school-based is designed to address this situation by pairing a young person with a positive professional role model who will be a friend and in so doing stimulate positive behavioural changes.

The VYC, a local youth organisation, has been effectively working since 1996 at raising awareness, education and support for persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, while providing strong social programmes that develop young people's capacity as well as prepare them for the world of work, the release stated.