Overseas-based Guyanese, Onica Charles, and some of her classmates at the Nova South Eastern University, Miami, USA, are in Guyana as part of an “Alternative Break” program ongoing at their University to participate in development projects.
Onica Charles, Founder/ CEO of the International Children’s Outreach (ICO)
The 28-year-old former St. Joseph High School student, who is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Children’s Outreach (ICO) which started in September 2007, told Kaieteur News yesterday that the purpose of the break was to allow them to participate in community development projects.
This is the first occasion on which any group of persons associated with their University or the ICO has included Guyana and as a Guyana-born individual Charles sought to ensure that her homeland benefited from such opportunities.The young woman explained that as a past student of the Grove Primary School, East Bank Demerara), that school was targeted where works were conducted on the school’s library.
“On Monday, last, we went to the school and painted the library and organized all of the books there so that the students could use the facility. Now it is fully functional and we are happy to play this part in the further development of young minds,” said Charles.
The group of University students is also in the process of establishing a community centre in Grove.
“We are in the process of having a community centre at the Nazarene Church which is at the last street of Grove. We are redoing the entire bottom of the church and converting it into a community centre solely for school kids.
The group of from the Nova South Eastern University, Miami, USA
“Our plan is also to put in computers to assist in their learning and even setting up free Wi-Fi internet for the systems.”
It was noted that these initiatives are funded by Non-Profit Organizations and is the first of its kind. Plans are underway to expand such activities to locations in central Georgetown, Berbice and Essequibo.