Japan awards grants to community development organisations

Signing from left to right are Alex Foster, Dane Gobin and Mark Adams, representing the three recipients of the grants awarded by the Japanese government under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project

The Government of Japan has awarded grants to three local community development organisations.

A joint signing ceremony was held yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the award of the grants, amounting to US$270,510 in total, to the St. Francis Community Developers (SFCD), the Iwokrama Inter-national Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development (Iwokrama), and Special Needs for Life (SNL).

The awards were made under the Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Project.

SFCD was awarded US$90,797 for the construction of a Skills Training Resource Centre in Corentyne, Berbice, Region Six. According to SFCD president Alex Foster, the two-storey building will house a preservation and agro processing centre on the upper flat and an area to improve the ability of the craftsmen and carpenters in the lower flat.

This building, Foster stated, will create two non-traditional training facilities for the community’s population. He expressed deep gratitude to the Japanese government for the faith and confidence it has placed in the organisation, which he was happy to recognise as being still relevant after some 31 years.

Iwokrama, meanwhile, has been awarded US$89,900 for the construction of a medical service centre aimed at improving the quality of health and medical services available in the Iwokrama forest.

Iwokrama Chief Executive Officer Dane Gobin noted that the grant is timely, given that funding for infrastructure was a major problem. He added that the grant will enable the organisation and the area, located in Region Eight, to have a building with advanced medical pieces as well as a completely separate building for counselling. The organisation expects to complete the facility within a year. It was noted that Iwokrama provides medical services to 500 persons per year.

Additionally, SNL has received US$89,813 for the construction of a multi-purpose centre, which is expected to provide social services to residents in and around the village of Kuma in Region Nine.

SNL, according to principal executive officer Mark Adams, aims to meet any need that is not currently being met by the government administration. He noted that the construction of such a centre would be able to facilitate a place for older folks who have to travel 12 miles for health care; a place for young women who are out of school; and a place for a cultural group in the area.

He applauded the Japanese government for the role it plays in international affairs, particularly where human development is concerned.

The grant contracts were signed by Foster, Gobin and Adams, on behalf of the respective recipients, and by Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan Yoshinori Yakabe.


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