Yesterday January 31st, 2018, GEPAN paid a visit to young Chetram Ramphal of Bush Lot village, East Berbice Corentyne (Region 6). Thirteen year old (13) Chetram Ramphal comes from a single parent home and is the youngest of five (5) children. After losing his father Chetram Ramphal Sr. who died in a tragic accident on the Corentyne highway seven years ago, his family began to face extreme financial difficulties which eventually forced him to drop out of school for more than five months.
Journalist for Capitol News, Tracy Khan, is to be thanked for unveiling this unfortunate situation when she carried a feature on the family on January 28th. It was then that Chetram took the opportunity to appeal to the public’s generosity to help him reintegrate school.The response he received was a general out-pour of generosity from the public, which allowed him to return to school in the days that followed his plea for help.
Through our Support Education Campaign (SEC), GEPAN was able to secure sponsorship for supplies which would help the family to maintain Chetram in school. When GEPAN visited the family, his mother, Ms. Bibi Sookram, explained to us that she had just returned from selling fish since this is what she does to generate an income. Bibi also explained that though her three older sons also fish for a living, she had placed her hopes on Chetram to elevate himself through education so that he would not have to live in the same state of poverty as the rest of his family. Seeing him return to school filled her with a sense of gratitude and renewed hope for his future. She firmly expressed her belief that education is the solution to poverty and as a result she had high hopes for her youngest boy.
When we asked Chetram how he felt about the support he received from well-wishers, he said he was happy to be given a second chance to go to school. On behalf of our donors (all desirous of remaining anonymous), GEPAN surprised him with a bicycle and stationery.
We wish we could have captured the expression of awe on his face when he saw his presents, as he placed his hand over his mouth and quietly exclaimed “oh my God…” Then excitement filled him and he listed ways in which he would use the bicycle. His mother received clothing and food supplies for the family.
Chetram thanked donors who made this outreach possible and gave us his word that he will strive to do his best to be successful in school. GEPAN has agreed to take him up on his word and monitor his performance in school after the end-of-year exams. We will remain available to the family and assist where possible should they find themselves in need again.
On behalf of GEPAN and our beneficiaries, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our donors , team and supporters who made this act of kindness possible for Chetram. Thanks to you we can continue to do our best to support vulnerable families in Guyana, giving back to those who need it most.
Your small gestures went a long way!
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