Supporting US efforts to provide hope and opportunity to the youth of Guyana
I recently had the opportunity to visit a community school in Corriverton, Guyana with the US Army Humanitarian Assistance team to provide educational supplies to at-risk youth in the region. You can read more about the project here.
This was my first time in Guyana, a country on the northeast coast of South America, bordering Venezuela, Brazil, and Suriname. Many people don’t know that this country is a huge transit hub for illegal drugs destined for the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, and West Africa.
US military teams working in the area are trying to ease human suffering, promote education, and prevent the youth of Guyana from slipping into a world of drugs, violence, prostitution, and vulnerability to radicalization. Education is an important issue and having access to books and school supplies is a top priority, as it enables young minds to achieve their dreams and improve their own country. Through education, the Guyana of tomorrow can surpass the Guyana of today.
The US Army team identified a need to improve education in a region on the eastern coast of Guyana. They were looking to assist by providing school kits to help improve the school conditions of the children who live in at-risk communities. After discussing with them the importance of the region, I decided to visit the school to see how Spirit of America could help.
Within a few weeks, we decided that conducting a distribution of educational supplies to one of the schools in the area would not only increase the US military and Guyanese government’s presence in a town with a long history of struggling youth, but it would also increase support to the local population and reduce crime and recruitment to violent organizations.
Spirit of America responded to the needs identified by our US partners by donating backpacks, pencils, and books for over 300 at risk-youth. We partnered with a local NGO, Family Awareness Consciousness Togetherness (FACT), with oversight from the US team and local leaders to distribute the school supplies to local students in vulnerable communities. This small-scale project assisted the Guyanese government and helped to improve education while denying enemy presence and activity in the area—a huge win for our US and Guyanese partners.
FACT’s main objective is to continue to engage the minds of the youth so they do not fall victim to a life of crime or drug use, and they provide various opportunities to help keep kids off the street. One of the more notable initiatives is the after-school program where kids can receive tutoring and assistance with homework. Because of your generous donation, we were able to provide a program supporting 200+ vulnerable kids with simple items such as pens, pencils, calculators, backpacks, and notebooks.
Providing educational supplies to the Guyanese youth will help our US partners develop a quality relationship with the locals and, more importantly, leads to persistent engagements in this vitally important region. This project will additionally highlight the efforts of the US Embassy in Guyana as they support the Guyanese government and local populace.
Until next time,
Project Manager – Latin America