European Union Election Observation Mission
Paraguay 2018

EU donates towards fight against gender-based violence in Linden, Region 10 of Guyana

Guyana, 04/09/2020 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 200908_1
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EU Ambassador Fernando Ponz-Cantó on Friday recommitted his support to vulnerable groups in Guyana. “In the coronavirus context, the EU is actively working to support Guyana, especially the most vulnerable and underprivileged people. We do this through our ever-stronger partnership with the authorities of the country and also with civil society organisations. We are committed to supporting organisations like SAFE Guyana in their work to champion the cause of those whose need protection, counselling and support of this nature, especially during these challenging times”, he said.

 
The European Union (EU) recently made a donation to Sexual Assault and Family Welfare Education (SAFE) Guyana Inc with the aim of supporting victims of gender-based violence and to improve the future of individuals struggling with mental health.
The donation, which includes laptops, office furniture, cleaning equipment and other office and training equipment, is expected to enhance the efforts of SAFE Guyana in empowering people who are affected by gender-based violence.
SAFE Guyana Inc was founded in 2015 by Lindener Michelle Nicholas with the main objective of raising awareness about sexual and domestic violence as well as mental health issues amongst Guyanese.
Since its formation, the non-profit organisation has been providing counselling and support services to victims of gender-based violence, who often face the daunting task of leaving their homes, finding a safe environment and providing for themselves and their dependents.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation expanded its efforts to assist the people it serves by designing and implementing a welfare re-integration programme.
This effort, which is expected to be launched soon, will include several initiatives ranging from assistance with housing, a job registry, training in job-search skills and entrepreneurship training. The EU’s donation represents a critical component of the new initiative.
EU Ambassador Fernando Ponz-Cantó on Friday recommitted his support to vulnerable groups in Guyana.
“In the coronavirus context, the EU is actively working to support Guyana, especially the most vulnerable and underprivileged people. We do this through our ever-stronger partnership with the authorities of the country and also with civil society organisations. We are committed to supporting organisations like SAFE Guyana in their work to champion the cause of those whose need protection, counselling and support of this nature, especially during these challenging times”, he said.
SAFE Guyana representative Lurlena Roberts accepted the donation at the Watooka Club in Linden, where she was joined by Chairman of the Board of the Linden Hospital Complex, Mortimer Mingo and Chairman of the Board of the Linden Enterprise Network, Orrin Gordon, both of whom are SAFE Guyana partners.
Nicholas expressed gratitude to the EU for their efforts.
“The laptops, office furniture, cleaning and other office and training equipment will allow us to take this important next step in helping our clients, many of whom are facing physical, emotional, and economic threats. Thanks to the EU’s donation, we can respond to immediate needs and launch our welfare re-integration programme much sooner than anticipated. The initiative is especially critical now, with the current coronavirus pandemic’s reach into the Linden community”, she said.
Nicholas said the isolation caused by the pandemic, which has confined many people to their homes, has exacerbated domestic violence, increasing the risks for thousands of women and girls.
“SAFE Guyana Inc is working towards moving beyond simply arranging for the rescue of these individuals from often violent environments, to working with them to ensure they are better equipped to face the world on their own through counselling, empowerment through training and placement efforts for services and sustenance,” Nicholas related in a statement provided for the occasion of the handover ceremony.
“These efforts require widespread networking,” she explained. “We need to do more than merely relocate these persons. We must create an enabling and empowering environment that will allow them to grow and thrive outside of the sphere of their assailants. We, therefore, deeply appreciate the donation of these supplies which will not only serve to augment our efforts, but also that of our partner NGOs who provide the network required to address these needs collectively,” she added.
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