— Lower Pomeroon residents

Sixty Four Year Old Elizabeth Rahaman can now breathe a sigh of relief following distribution of the government’s ‘Because We Care’ cash grant. The grandmother of three has been taking care of her grandchildren for some time due to difficult circumstances, and while she has no problem with the task, she said it has been challenging. “I have two of them who go to school regularly since they came to live with me. As of now, I have spoken to their teacher who said that they have been doing well, but I was unhappy because I could not get the finance to maintain them and it was difficult for me, because I need to use the treatment every day,” she said. The 64-year-old said she is currently working on enrolling the eldest child to ensure that she can obtain a high school education. “Sometimes, I’m really troubled about what I have to do, but this cash grant will help to relieve me a lot. I am enlightened by this cash grant and so I have to thank the government for what they have done. They had made some promises to the people and here, they are fulfilling them,” she said. Joseph Benjamin, a farmer and father of five, said the programme “is good because it takes off the pressure of what I am going through right now since I have lost plenty on my farm. I know that my child is at home, but it is struggling me but it is good that we are getting assistance.” He told the DPI that it is refreshing to have a government that cares about the development of the nation’s future leaders. Another grandmother, Celeste Culpepper, said, “I was not to be here, but since my daughter-in-law do [sic] not have any identification card, I came instead to sign for my grandchildren. I feel so happy more than ever and I want to thank the President very much for doing this great work for my grandchildren. You know, my children never know about this, so this will do good.” Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, encouraged the parents to use the funds to improve the lives of their children. “Today is a very important day for us as a government and people because today is a manifestation of our commitment as a government and the promises we made when we campaigned…. We hope that this cash grant is going to be seed money that can be used as parents to elevate the circumstances of our children.” The minister reiterated the importance of parents building relationships with the teachers to ensure that their child/ children are being properly taught. The minister was part of a team which included Minister of Education Priya Manickchand and Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, who visited the region to officially launch the ‘Because We Care’ cash grant programme. (DPI)