Minister of State, Joseph Harmon yesterday charged Regional Democratic Council (RDC) councillors of Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three) to take up their roles as the drivers of the social cohesion in the region.
A Ministry of the Presidency release said that he was speaking at the Ministry of Social Cohesion’s Sensitisation Workshop for councillors and other key stakeholders. One hundred and fifty-six stakeholders, including representatives from the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC), representatives of the Guyana Police Force, Ministries of Communities, Education and Health, organisations and groups such as the Den Amstel Dynamic Network attended the workshop, which was held at the Barnwell Hotel, Barnwell, West Coast Demerara.
Harmon also said that while the Ministry is implementing its Social Cohesion Strategic Plan 2017-2021, the RDC, NDC councillors and other stakeholders must embrace it.
“Social cohesion is not a nebulous concept…it is life. It is what you do in your communities, it is people working together, playing together for the benefit of their communities. You live it. You live in communities that require you to work together if you are to have the full benefit of what the region has to offer or what the Government, at the level of the State, has to offer as well,” he said.
The release said that several stakeholders requested assistance from the Ministry to implement programmes that would promote cohesion. Shanas Sattar and Erick Sukhlall, both of the Parfaite Harmonie Golden Jubilee Youth Group and Tanya Hooper of the Goed Intent Sisters Youth Developers also sought aid to advance programmes aimed at keeping youth gainfully occupied. Stakeholders also voiced concerns about crime, blocked drainage structures and the need for community groups to be developed and maintained.
Chairperson of the Cane Grove NDC, Neemawattie Baldeo said that the members of her NDC are very co-operative and “we want to embark on community self-help projects and sports, which will bring our youths together, our older folks together, in general, the entire community and we want to [meet] with other NDCs so that we can share our experiences [and] probably gain some experience as well,” she said. Ulita Moore of the Better Hope/La Bonne Intention/Plaisance/ Beterverwagting/Industry/ Triumph NDC said that they will be embarking on a self-help project that will involve the cleaning, clearing and desilting of drainage structures in four constituencies in each NDC.
Stakeholders from the Cummings Lodge, Grove/Haslington and Mon Repos NDCs also attended the workshop, the release said.