We have been very lucky to volunteer at this youth space during our visits to Guyana over the past four years. The Ruimveldt Children’s Aid Centre is an after school youth space for disadvantaged preschool, elementary and secondary school children in the Ruimveldt community. These children face particular barriers to socio-economic success, such as daily attendance at school being low because education is not of high value to young parents. As well, children are streamlined into secondary schools via a nationwide exam in Grade 6, which ultimately determines their potential to attend university. Moreover, the physical environment of the community is not conducive to the healthy development of young children: There are no parks to play at, the roads are busy and dangerous, and it is not safe to be outside after dark, as the sun sets before 6PM in Guyana. All of these factors make it extremely difficult to break the cycle of poverty in this community.
The Ruimveldt Children’s Aid Centre is a safe space for about 40 kids to come to after school to play with friends, do homework, and get a hot meal. The ladies that run the Centre, Miss Patsy and Miss December, work at the Centre every day on an entirely volunteer basis. These women donate their time and resources to make sure the Centre is open for the children every day. Resources are very limited at the Centre: Little government funding and low numbers of volunteers make it difficult to coordinate daily meals and activities at the Centre, and this places a lot of stress and pressure on Miss Patsy and Miss December. For example, the playground at the Centre would not even come close to surpassing Canadian safety standards, so one of our objectives for our visit this summer is to donate new playground equipment to create a safer playing environment for the children that use the Centre.
One of the projects the Centre is working on is accumulating books in their library. We are planning on facilitating a book drive after the Christmas break, and part of the money from donations could go towards purchasing some new books for the library. If you live in Kingston or the Greater Toronto Area, please feel free to message us if you have books you would like to donate!
Finally, we are working on planning a full week of activities for the children at the Centre during our visit to Guyana. Some of these activities include creating a garden in the backyard of the Centre, organizing a scavenger hunt and games day, arranging a trip to the National Park in the city to visit the manatees, and hosting a talent show for parents to come watch.
In addition to seeking out grants and sponsorship opportunities, we have created this online donation account for friends and family to support our initiative. As well, over the Christmas break we will be hosting fundraisers at our hometown schools.
Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and will go a long way in stregthening the amazing services that the Ruimvedlt Children's Aid Centre provides. Thank you for your generosity!
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