GUYANESE communities had become sharply divided because of loyalty to their political party of choice. However, the newly installed Irfaan Ali-led government, within the short period of approximately three months, has systematically and increasingly gained the tentative trust of supporters of political opponents as poverty-alleviation programmes are being rolled out and essential social-support systems, such as healthcare, are being improved day by day; especially during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis,.
Communal efforts build strong communities and countries, and the government has task forces on the ground, bolstered by ministerial participation in every community to assess and prioritise needs at both individual and community levels.
The goodwill extended to the newly elected government is apparent in the plaudits from private-sector organisations and the general public extolling the amazing achievements in their first 100 days in government, as well as the charitable donations to families — all compliments of collaborative efforts by government and volunteers from across every divide in the nation and the Guyanese diaspora.
This voluntary-distribution network emerged from dire needs arising from job losses nationwide, due to the protracted declaration of elections results and aggressive protestors, coupled with the raging, deadly pandemic that forced businesses to shut down. Then President-elect Irfaan Ali organised teams nationwide to make and distribute masks and donate foodstuff to families, some of which were literally facing starvation.
This precipitated a movement that gave birth to NGOs that continue to support government’s poverty-alleviation programmes.
The Guyanese people are a strong, resilient people – a nation that has emerged triumphantly from a very troubled past. And as long as this nation as a collective stands firmly in unity to continue on the path our forebears trod, then eventual prosperity, in progressive stages, would be realised sooner rather than later.
Thus, Guyanese should never let the inconsequential synergies of negativity derail the impetus of development initiatives and goals that the country is currently pursuing. The struggles and accomplishments of the nation’s freedom fighters are well chronicled and as Guyanese participate each year in the celebrations of this nation’s state of freedom, they do so with the knowledge that theirs is a sovereign nation, born out of the bowels of adversity and struggle to carve a niche in the landscape of the world as a free people.
However, it is incumbent on every citizen of the land to embark on a dynamic thrust to re-affirm their commitment to solidifying the gains carved out of adversity by our foreparents — the grassroots people, because that is where our national strength resides. The grassroots working-class is the foundation and the backbone of any nation and the ministerial outreaches are ensuring that no one falls through the cracks of social service networks.
The education/information quotient in outreach programmes should not be minimised, because knowledge provides armour against misinformation and provides requisite information of the dynamics and the implications involved in developmental and nation-building exercises.
Our country first began its development through cooperative efforts to build communities, so the need is imperative to follow the examples our foreparents set and work with persons across every divide in the nation, so that these efforts sustain the primary goals always sought after by the Jagan-created political party; that is, to unite the nation through trust-building developmental initiatives within Guyanese communities, so as to enhance and enrich the social capital of Guyana.
Human rights bodies should take cognisance of the fact that human rights violations were factored into every aspect of the daily existence of every immigrant or emancipated slave, even after slavery was abolished, until the emergence of the People’s Progressive Party, led by the visionary and peace-loving Dr. Cheddi Jagan.
The policies and programmes being formulated and implemented by the new government is generating the unity in the land that once existed, that would heal wounds and build trust, to the extent that no destabilising, disruptive, corrupt force could ever again convince Guyanese communities to engage in violent and destructive behaviour that would be counter-productive to their own well-being and jeopardise the future of their offspring.
Knowing my people, I have my doubts about Guyana becoming the Singapore of the Caribbean. The leaders of both major parties are wedded to racial politics. Guyana will only prosper when they decide to change the narrative.
Always tell someone how you feel because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regret can last a lifetime.