UNICEF Representative lauds Government of Guyana Performance on Child Welfare
Georgetown, Guyana, September 21, 2010 – UNICEF Representative to Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Suleiman Braimoh commended Government’s performance in the area of child welfare and expansion in the awareness of the rights of children and women in Guyana. These sentiments were expressed recently as the UNICEF official joined a wide cross section of stakeholders in what he referred to as “celebrating excellence, the participation of the children of Guyana in civil society.” The occasion was the platform for the formal launching of four commemorative stamps, designed by children between the ages of 7 and 16, depicting four of the Articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The stamps were officially launched by Honourable Priya Manickchand, Minister of Human Services and Social Security.
Through the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Guyana became the first country in the English speaking Caribbean to produce postage stamps depicting the internationally recognized rights of children.
Further support and assistance were given by the Ministry of Education and teachers throughout the primary and secondary education system, as a nationwide competition was launched. This resulted in 1,057 children submitting artistic interpretations of four specifically identified children’s right: the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, the right to live with a family, and not remain in an institution, the right to be protected from drugs and the drug trade and the right not to witness domestic violence.
Dr. Braimoh recognized the significance of the undertaking in the context of what it means for children to design stamps, and to do so in relation to the convention on the rights of the child.
He noted that it was an indication of Government’s demonstration of the importance of the views of the nation’s children, through their participation in consultations and avenues of expression across the range of media, noting especially, local television programmes hosted by and catering to Guyana’s youth. He also highlighted the enacting of important legislation, by the Administration, on advancing the interests of the child, child protection act and status of children, ensuring child friendly homes and access to education and encouraged the expansion of meaningful child participation in all parts of Guyana.
The artistic entries were judged by staff of the Burrowes School of Art and a philatelic officer from the GPOC, based on criteria that included an assessment of the clarity of the accompanying slogan, the adherence of the piece to the rules of the competition, the level of skill applied and the suitability of the artwork for reproduction.
The winners of the competition were: seven year old Lucas Jonas, Bibi Sarah Ali, 12 years, Deborah DeCamp, 14 years and Shamar Spencer, 15 years.
In congratulating the winners Dr. Braimoh issued a challenge, “You have done a great thing. What will you now do with the great thing you have accomplished? We at UNICEF are here to help you.” He further reassured those present that UNICEF is committed to providing the best support to government and civil society in the interest of children, indicating that he is “looking forward to what the future holds for the children of Guyana, who have healthy interest, dedication and creativity.
Present for the historic occasion was Trevor Thomas, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, Bishop Juan Edghill, Chairman of the GPOC and Ms. Shirley Ferguson, Coordinator of the Child Rights Division within the Ministry.
For more information
Leslyn Thompson, firstname.lastname@example.org, UNICEF Guyana, Tel. 623 7056; 592 226 7083; 227 3662; 225 9993
Tamar Hahn, email@example.com, UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean, Tel. +(507) 301 7485
UNICEF is on the ground in over 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.