Residents of the Angoy’s Avenue community should not have much time to be “idle” since the Congo Nya Cultural Foundation Library & DVD Club was recently launched to keep them occupied. Ivelaw James, who spearheads the library and the Congo Nya group, said the library has already started to bring about positive changes among persons. The aim of establishing the library is “to get people to read more.” He said since the formation of the African cultural group in the 1980s he wanted to open a library for the people in the community. But this dream was not possible then, since he had not acquired enough books.
Two years ago, after recognizing that “circumstances were causing persons to get into trouble,” James decided to start conducting voluntary classes for remedial reading for adults and children, craft and drumming.
His son Raslij, a member of the group, has also been involved in conducting the classes on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 pm and on Sundays from midday when persons are treated to lunch and snacks.
The group sustains the feeding programme by holding fund raising activities.
“I try to help everyone and I get a lot of respect from persons in the area because I give a lot of positive advice. I even took some wayward youths and turn them into drummers.”
He said proudly that through the remedial reading he helped a “big man to learn to read perfectly and afterwards he brought others. I feel proud to know that I can make that kind of contribution.”
James, fondly known as “Papa” to all in the community, said Voluntary Service Overseas (VSOs) volunteers who were working in Berbice during that time recognized his effort and were impressed with the impact the group was making in the community.
After returning to their country the VSOs donated a few books to start the library while James acquired a little more from other persons locally and abroad.
Before completing their stint in Guyana, the volunteers had donated a laptop computer, a camcorder and a typewriter for the group to make the effort more viable.
So far Raslij has started to record events with the camcorder to sustain the group. He is also currently developing his computer skills so he can use the laptop to generate more income.
According to James since all the classes are conducted free of charge, they would welcome any other donation including books, crayons and stationery.