Returning to a theme that he has stressed for months, President David Granger yesterday called on churches of all denominations and faiths and all Guyanese to start a new movement to boost living standards
According to a statement from the Ministry of the Presidency, he proposed that it be built on the pillars of the Village of Movement.
The President told the congregation at a special service to mark the 175th Anniversary of the St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church at Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara that the rich legacy and hard earned gains of the nation’s forbearers must be safeguarded to enhance the living standards of all citizens.
“Examine closely and carefully, what happened in 1838 and how it was that 80,000 freed men and women were inspired to save their money to start this beautiful village Movement… Just as our fore parents had the intelligence to save their money and invest in land to ensure that future generations have secure lives, we too have an obligation to maintain that land and to ensure that the land is gainfully used,” the President exhorted.
Having just returned from a visit to the United Nations and other official business, Granger told the congregation that their fore parents had wisely purchased land and erected the villages on four pivotal pillars: the school, the church, the home and the farm.
Facing increasing pressure to name a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission after months of delay, Granger said that as poor and uneducated as freed Africans were, they recognised the importance of educating their children, keeping their families together in homes, worshipping God and growing their own food on farms.
“I warn you that if you kick those pillars down, the villages will collapse… If you go into any community and the schools are empty, the churches are empty, the farms are overgrown and the homes are broken, then you are facing catastrophe,” he admonished.
The statement said that the President used the forum to voice his concern over the symptoms of decay that plague communities across the country such as domestic and interpersonal violence, suicide, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse and school dropouts.
Minister of St. Luke’s, Rev. Colleen Anderson said that she is proud of the legacy that the church has built over the years. “Today we are sitting in a building that was constructed about 55 years ago but our forefathers started this movement 175 years ago and we have to continue to carry out God’s (work) and to share this spiritual gift of faith,” she said.