Lay Counselor Training Program

$1,850 of $37,000 goal

Raised by 46 people in 1 month
The Caribbean Voice Inc is a New York registered NGO that is engaged in anti-violence activism in general with a special focus on suicide prevention and anti-abuse with a major focus on Guyana. In our efforts to be able to address suicide and abuse in Guyana, we have identified the lay counselor program that trains gatekeepers to become proactive eyes and ears in communities who will be able to act to prevent suicide and address abuse. To this end Seva International, an NGO out of India, has provided us with a trainer for the lay counselor program for a period of one year. We are not paying for the services of that trainer but we do need to cover the person's living expenses plus costs associated with the various training programs she will be conducting, for the duration of her stay, a total cost of $31,900. We have factored in the fees that have to be paid to Gofundme in the total we need to raise. We need these funds as soon as possible so we can implement the program as Guyana has one of the highest suicide rate in the world and abuse stalks the social landscape as an everyday, suffusing, almost normal activity. My name is Annan Boodram and I'm a founder and current president of The Caribbean Voice.
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Hello everyone thank you very much for your support so far. In 23 days we have raised $1550 but more importantly, at the time of this update, 1246 persons have visited this page. If each visitor leaves just $5.00 we can reach our goal in no time. And just about everyone can give $5 without almost no sacrifice except perhaps giving up a few beers or a snack and you would have helped to bring to Guyana, a program that will make a significant dent in suicide and abuse. Thank you very much and God bless.
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For comprehensive information about The Caribbean Voice - who we are and what we do please check out our website www.caribvoice.org.
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A collage reflecting our work.
A mental health workshop for teachers.
Meeting teachers union for collaboration
Meeting women lawyers association.
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The Caribbean Voice launched our anti-violence, especially suicide and abuse prevention, campaign in Guyana in September 2014 with a press conference in Georgetown. Since then we have achieved/engaged in:
The first and only National Stakeholders’ Conference on Suicide & Related Issues - August 2015 – attended by over 75 stakeholders.
The Annual El Dorado Awards launched in August 2015 to honor affirmation agents (organizations and individuals) on the social landscape. Thus far over 50 individuals and entities have been honored and highlighted.
The Annual National Anti-Violence Candlelight Vigil launched in September 2016 to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. In the two years so far, over 800 vigils have been held across Guyana, involving over 100 entities – NGOs, Faith Based Organizations, Community Based Organizations, special interests groups, political organizations, regional and local governments, trade unions.
More than 40 workshops and outreaches in seven of the ten administrative regions, to date across Guyana reaching and training well over 2500 persons. Plans are afoot to get into the remaining three regions.
Collaboration with a range of businesses as well as many private and public sector entities. To date we have collaborated with over 150 different entities: NGOs, FBOs, CBOs, special interests groups such as sports, youth, women’s and so on, trade unions, political parties, local and regional administrations, businesses, government agencies and departments…
Institutional capacity building through formal and informal training, including training organized by international agencies and the public sector, such as the US Embassy, PAHO/WHO, The American University of Peace Studies and others. We also do in house training by members of our technical team and individual coaches and trainers.
Networking on a continual basis via attendance/participation in fora organized by both private and public sector.
Meetings with various government ministries and agencies as well as embassies and consulates, NGOs, FBOs, CBOs, special interests groups and businesses to sensitize, build collaboration and establish partnerships. Latest: Giftland, the largest mall in Guyana, the Guyana Teachers Union, Childcare and Protection Agency, Ministry of Social Protection, the West Coast Berbice Cricket Association, Seva4Life based in Toronto and the Yakusari Humanitarian Mission based in New York City, Seva International out of India and the Global Mental health Program headquartered at Columbia University.
Advocacy and Lobbying – suicide helpline (established in 2015), a psychology program at University of Guyana (recently set up), a definitive survey on suicide in Guyana (currently being put together by UG), petitions to establish a registry of sex offenders (to be established this year by government) and raise the age of consent from 16 to 18, placement of counselors in schools (promises made by government) a Gatekeepers’ Program to train lay counselors, a program to tackle pesticide suicide (such as the Hazard Reduction Model which was highly successful in Shri Lanka and which the previous government had promised to implement) integrating mental health care into the current primary health care system, decriminalizing attempted suicide (bill was presented in parliament in 2016 but voted down by the government) and a range of other issues which can be found on our website www.caribvoice.org.
Info dissemination – we continually engage in research and have so far commissioned three surveys to gather primary material. Also, through a variety of platforms, we have identified and debunked a range of myths, misinformation, inaccuracies and assumptions, whenever and wherever they occur and we continually seek to inform and educate people about suicide prevention and anti-abuse as well as provide them with strategies and skills to deal with these issues.
We get one or more letters and articles published in the Guyana and overseas media every week and we also use our website ( www.caribvoice.org) and seven other social media accounts for this purpose. In fact, many researchers, academic institutions media and others come to us for information, the latest being the University of Guyana. As well we have done a lot of TV and radio interviews including with many international media.
Counseling intervention by our team of highly credentialed and experienced counselors. Since September 2014, when we launched out mission, we have successfully counseled over 320 persons. We have also referred another 50 or so for counseling elsewhere while many more who initially touched base with us refused to take counseling because of a myth in Guyana that ‘only maad people’ need counseling’ as well as a lack of confidence in counselors as a result of confidentiality being breached a number of times.
Also our entire campaign is funded by funds raised by our members with a a handful of exceptions. This year's budget, for example totals US20,000 and we are again raising this amount ourselves through donations from our members and fundraisers organized by TCV, The lay counselor training program is a special project and marks the first time we are seeking public help through crowdfunding.
Finally me must point out that all our members either work full time or go to school or both and fully volunteers time and efforts towards our work. No one gets paid and we have no overheads so every cent we raise goes directly to our activism.
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$1,850 of $37,000 goal

Raised by 46 people in 1 month
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