‘Because We Care’ not a waste of taxpayers’ dollars – Min. Bharrat

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat MP says the Government’s ‘Because We Care’cash grant programme is not a waste of taxpayers’ dollars and will greatly benefit Guyana’s children.

The Minister’s statement comes in the wake of criticisms by the opposition.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat MP

“How can a leader of this country go on national television and say that giving these school children $15,000 is a waste of taxpayers’ money? How can you possibly say that? That is inhumane. That is reckless,” Minister Bharrat said.

He was speaking to parents at the Akawini Primary School in the Pomeroon River.

During the final day of the three-day visit to Region Two, Minister Bharrat noted that the ‘Because We care’, along with the $4,000 school uniform and supplies cash grant, which will see each child in the public school system receiving $19,000, is the Government fulfilling another manifesto promise.

Parent receiving the cash grant

“We are not here to promise you anything. We are here to deliver. The Government committed to ensuring that people benefit from the Government’s programmes and policies, regardless of the sector. Region Two is important to us and you have our assurance that we will do everything possible to ensure we create opportunities for the people.”

Toshao of Akawini Village, Rudolf Wilson expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Government for what he calls a timely initiative. With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent unprecedented nationwide flooding, the father said he finds it a “great challenge” to take care of his 16 children.

Father and Toshao of Akawini Village, Rudolf Wilson

Toshao Wilson, who is also a teacher and lumberjack told DPI, “with the recent floods, business has been really slow. For the past two months I did not do much work. Everything was stalled up because of the heavy rain.”

Of his 16 children, only seven are students. The Toshao said he and his family have decided that they will purchase some learning materials and foodstuff.

“I was thinking about getting two tablets for them so that they could go on the internet,” he added. In total, Mr. Wilson is set to collect $133,000 for his seven school-aged children.

Meanwhile, headteacher of the Akawini Primary School Triston Joseph said he foresees an increase in attendance.

Akawini parents lined up to collect the ‘Because We Care’ grant

Approximately 172,000 students will benefit from the programme from a total $3.2 billion.

Minister Bharrat had accompanied Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand MP and Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall MP who also distributed the grant in a number of villages in the region.

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