Use this Emancipation anniversary to launch village renewal drive

Dear Editor

The First of August Movement of Buxton (FAM) salutes African Guyanese on this 176th Emancipation anniversary. Despite many challenges since 1838 African Guyanese have persevered and have made an equal contribution to Guyana, the Caribbean and the world.

As we celebrate this historic occasion we must not lose sight of the real meaning of Emancipation—Freedom from servitude. Since 1838, Africans in Guyana and the rest of the diaspora have had to contend with the consequences of the long years of enslavement. Although slavery formally came to an end in 1838, the institutions and culture that nurtured slavery remained intact, albeit in modified forms. All Guyanese should use this Emancipation anniversary to recommit ourselves to a society free from servitude and oppression of any kind and one that lives out, in word and deed, the Emancipation covenant of equal freedom and justice.

As a village organization, the FAM is deeply concerned about the state of villages. Many villages have deteriorated into a state of disrepair—physically, socially, economically and culturally. This, we feel, is a desecration of the Emancipation spirit and intent. We feel that villages, which came into being as a direct consequence of Emancipation, still have a role to play as economic units and socio-cultural centres. We, therefore, use this Emancipation anniversary to urge villagers all over Guyana to launch a Village Renewal drive aimed at restoring our villages, which are our ancestors’ gift to us, to their former glory.

The First of August Movement will set the ball rolling with a Forum on the State of our village, Buxton, and the State of African Guyanese in general. This Forum, which is organized in collaboration with the Cuffy250 group, will be held on August 17 at the Friendship Primary school beginning at 1 pm. It will bring together Village leaders and other African Guyanese leaders and thinkers to lead the discussion on subjects such as education, economics. violence and youth empowerment.

Yours faithfully,
Yvette Herod,
Kidackie Amsterdam,
David Hinds
For First of August Movement

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