US Southern Command to build women’s shelter, two community centres in Linden

Waneka Arrindell

Starting in January, US army civil engineers under the US Southern Command “Exercise New Horizon 2019”will begin building a women’s shelter and two community centres in Linden.

According to a Department of Public Information (DPI) release, this was revealed by Mayor of Linden, Waneka Arrindell who attended a meeting in May in Arizona with the United States Southern Command to discuss their longstanding commitment to Guyana. 

The women’s shelter will be for those women who have suffered some form of abuse and need help, while the community centres will serve as the much-needed spaces for youths to gather to conduct activities and develop themselves outside of school.

 “The Government of Guyana and the United States Armed Forces have embarked on the New Horizon Project. For Linden it will be two-fold, health and engineering. The engineering aspect is the building of the women’s shelter and two community centres, one in Amelia’s Ward, and [the other in] Blueberry Hill,” the Mayor was quoted in the DPI release, as saying.

The Mayor said that the planning session allowed for the Guyana delegation’s input and saw the securing of the land for the projects, the DPI statement said.

 “It saw us being able to create the space, we were able to design what the women’s shelter will look like and what the two community centres will look like. That project runs off next year where the persons will come on the ground and start putting down those buildings,” Arrindell was further quoted in the release as saying.

The US forces medical professionals will be conducting outreaches at the town’s hospitals and at the Egbert Benjamin Exhibition & Conference Centre, the DPI statement said. The mayor added that it is hoped that persons from along the highway and Kwakwani can also be part of the sessions. They are also collaborating with the Regional Democratic Council to identify riverine communities where the US Forces can go to offer medical services. There will also be a sports camp for students from Grades six to nine, and the distribution of school supplies.

New Horizons is an annual training exercise for U.S. military civil engineers and medical professionals which prepares participants to deploy, conduct joint operations with partner nations, and redeploy back to the United States. The exercise was previously held in Guyana in 2004 and 2009, during which clinics and schools were constructed and medical outreaches conducted.


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