The Government of Guyana on Wednesday July 14, 2021 began its Because We Care cash grant distribution in Region Two. For some persons who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, suffered losses due to the recent flooding or facing other difficulties, the $19,000 per child meant a lot.
One of those persons is Vental Jainarine of Hampton Court, Essequibo Coast who is the father of a three-year-old girl but is unable to provide for her since he lost one of his legs in a boat accident three years ago. “I struggle a lot because I can’t work and it is hard to get income,” Jainarine said.
He added that he has a sister who lends assistance, but this is not sufficient. “It means a lot to me because it could help my daughter throughout the school [year] and to help buy things for her; her school clothes, pencils, books, erasers, crayon and things like that,” he said referring to the cash grant which he received on Thursday.
The Government of Guyana began rolling out the project this week (July 14 2021) in Region two with Minister of Education, the Honorable Priya Manickchand and team taking to the fields to ensure that parents and guardians were able to access the funds.
Those eligible includes Jainarine’s daughter who was registered before June 30, 2021 to start Nursery School this year.
“I am thankful to the government for helping us in this situation; to help out with our children and their needs,” he said.
“The money that they are giving out is helpful because where are we going to get it from? We can’t get it anywhere. It’s good,” he added.
Living with his wife and daughter, Jainarine believes that the grant comes at an important time given that the Education Ministry announced that it is exploring the reopening of schools in the new school year.
The Ministry has not limited the parents and guardians as to what to do with the sum once received. “This grant is for the parents of this country to decide how they will spend it on their children and what they will spend it on,” Minister Manickchand remarked as she commenced the distribution joined by her colleagues.
She told parents across the Essequibo Coast that the Because We Care cash grant will increase from $15,000 incrementally each year until it reaches $50,000 within the Government's first five years in office.
In addition, the project, which totals GYD $3.2 Billion dollars this year is being live audited by the Audit Office of Guyana.
Over $224M was scheduled to be distributed in Region Two this week to over 11,000 students. At the end of the scheduled distribution exercise, over 97% of children received the grant with the remained to receive theirs on a decided date at the Region’s Department of Education.
The program wrapped up in region two on Friday (July 16, 2021) and will continue countrywide.