The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) said its two-day outreach exercise to Region Five was a success and that “Guyana was maturing in terms of race relations.”
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release the exercise is an annual feature the ERC hosts across the regions to solicit broad-based participation. The ERC also held a historic first workshop for women and plans to host 10 throughout the year.
Meanwhile, Chairman Bishop Juan Edghill said over a five-year period, “the Commission had looked at many complaints but they did not have any merit. He stated that persons could not use the ERC for their personal gains.” The chairman also said this year the ERC will be visiting 100 public places to interface with various persons in the street.
The ERC also hosted its annual film festival with 12 participating schools. Three films were aired showing the consequences of discrimination. The Chairman also told a youth workshop that they are helping to create a new paradigm in race relations in Guyana. He told them the country’s future development depended on them and that they could make a difference. He said the ERC was reaching out to youth because it recognised that if youngsters learn these values early it would be easier to cultivate these habits as they mature. GINA said Edghill also told the workshop that conflict is a deterrent to progress as often it contributes to the loss of opportunities and affects a large number of persons.
As regard religious difference, Edghill urged the youth to be tolerant. He also advised them not to be disrespectful to their parents; instead that they should try to teach them what they had learnt if their parents are encouraging discrimination.