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NGO plans to offer night care services to single mothers

KELVIN Fortune, the chairman of Youths for Better Living (YBL), a locally-based non-governmental organisation, is looking to establish a day and night care facility to assist single mothers.

Fortune told the Guyana Chronicle on Sunday that the initiative was birthed out of the recent tragedy that claimed the lives of the three young children who were burnt to death in their Barnwell, East Bank Demerara home while their mother was at work.

He said that many single mothers are struggling to provide for their household, something he has seen first-hand during his work in the humanitarian field.

“What I want to do is open a night care, where mothers who are working… in the nights can bring their children,” Fortune said.

He added: “There are mothers who want to work and [for] some, the only job they can get is security guard and some security guards, they work in the night and they don’t have anyone to take care of their children. So, they are either forced to leave them or forced to not get the job. Some of them don’t have families that are supportive of them, some of them cannot afford a baby sitter or they cannot afford daycare.”

What will set his facility aside from a typical daycare is the affordability. He noted that mothers will not have to pay a large amount of money each month but rather, it will be a small membership fee that is considerate to low-income earners.

“Let’s say the cost for a daycare is $20,000 per month, these mothers will be members of the daycare, where they will pay a $5,000 membership fee per month instead,” he explained to this publication.

Additionally, he hopes to provide an additional service of tutoring to school-aged children.

“We are going to have professionals and trained people, especially tutors who will be teaching the children. You would find a babysitter who is sitting down with your child to read and do homework, [this] is what we are going to be offering under the day and night care,” he said.

Fortune noted that he has already reached out to the relevant authorities to acquire a plot of land in Region Four on which the facility will be built. He hopes that he can eventually be able to build similar facilities in Regions Six and 10.

“We are approaching the government for land. So, once we get that land, we will be able to start building because we have persons who have pledged to help us with building material and so forth …I also reached out to the Ministry of Human Services and the Child Care and Protection Agency.”

He also hopes to provide lodging to those single mothers who may need assistance with housing for themselves and child/children.

Persons who are interested in supporting the initiative can contact Mr. Fortune on telephone number 592- 661-4580.