First Lady partners with local NGO to bring cheer to 500 Wakenaam children

More than 500 children on the island of Wakenaam, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), were all smiles on Saturday as First Lady, Arya Ali partnered with the Give Another Chance Foundation to distribute toys to them.
In addition, the children had the opportunity to assist the First Lady in decorating and turning on the switch to illuminate a 12-foot Christmas tree.
The visit marked Ali’s second appearance on the island since becoming First Lady. She had visited earlier in the year to distribute hampers to about 100 senior citizens. But on Saturday, it was about the children.

The First Lady and a family at the Christmas tree on Saturday

“The Christmas season brings a kind of joy that we cannot adequately describe and since this has been a difficult year for most of us, including our children, it was important for me to bring hope and joy to them,” the First Lady shared.
The short programme began with Ali and a group of children decorating the 12-foot Christmas tree with “One Guyana” ornaments. The tree was erected in the Arthurville Primary School compound and was partially decorated by the foundation and residents of the island before the First Lady’s arrival.
After decorating, Ali joined the executive members of the foundation to distribute presents to the 500 children who were accompanied by their parents and guardians.

Mrs Arya Ali along with Santa and a girl after collecting her present

It was a moment of joy for many of them who not only saw the First Lady for the first time, but received their first and perhaps only present for the holidays.
“As a child, you always look forward to a present at Christmas time. I know this from experience and so we wanted to be able to fulfil that wish for many of these children. Today we were able to do that, thanks to the Give Another Chance Foundation,” the First Lady stated.

The First Lady and a lad at the decorated Christmas tree

The Office of the First Lady also donated a quantity of exercise books which were distributed to the children in attendance. The Foundation’s founder, Miranda Thakur-Deen, also expressed how much of a pleasure it was being able to give back to the island where she was born.
“This is our seventh annual Christmas tree lighting and present distribution on the island and this year was made even more special with the presence of the First Lady. Mrs Ali, who has a baby son, understands how important it is to ensure our children are happy and that we fulfil our obligations to them. So it was indeed a privilege to have her here spending time and spreading joy among the children of Wakenaam,” Thakur-Deen said.