Community centres are indeed needed in Guyana

Dear Editor,
It is a given that community centres, village halls and other local venues are at the heart of many communities. So, who can complain when it comes to the Sophia Community Centre project? I guess no one.
I can feel the positive vibes already as the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development just signed a $13.6 million contract with the North Sophia Community Development Council (CDC), to create its own space in terms of a community centre for those in the area, so that family and friends will get the chance to really connect with one another.
First, let us not trivialise this venture. I remind people that community centres are important hubs across any country, as they provide citizens with opportunities to socialise, learn, and access key services. Some may argue that these centres aren’t seen as desirable places to spend time, but the truth is that they serve a vital function in bringing people together.
No doubt, now more than ever, we’re living in challenging times, which require us all to pull together and offer help, and this is where this Sophia venture will prove of great value. Word is that execution of the project will be undertaken solely by members of the community, with supervision from the Local Government Ministry. This alone would help in unifying people and adding that dimension of pride in taking charge.
It gets better, as I see that labour and materials for the project would also be sourced from within the community. This, as we know, is in keeping with the Government’s repeated commitment to providing employment opportunities for all.
Overall, then, it is a win-win situation from beginning to end.
We must keep in mind that the Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Government means business in its effort to bring people together in a most non-discriminatory manner. I get the distinct impression that use of this centre will be maximised for all kinds of cohesive and socialising events in the areas of sports, religion, and recreation etc., and for all ages too.
This is an opportunity for connectivity for people from all walks of life: to demonstrate how wonderfully they can all work, play, and just about do anything together. After all, the ‘One Guyana’ theme is about gelling race, age, gender, class, education, and other protected characteristics used in the past to seclude and separate people.
We should follow the President’s lead and value people for their own individuality, and so socialise together, no matter what. I add that community centres are not a new or recent thing. For example, the Blairmont and Skeldon Community Development Centres were dominant in serving educational needs at one time, and many sporting heroes originated from them and the other centres across the country. So, since the Government is all bent on bringing ‘quality and unity of life’ to all Guyanese, then I can hardly wait for all of the existing community centres to be refurbished.

Yours truly,
H Singh