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Guyana pledges continual support to families of Mahdia fire victims

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Guyana is still deeply affected by the tragic loss of 20 young lives in a fire at the Mahdia Secondary School female dormitory in Region Eight in May last year.

On Tuesday, the families and friends of the fire victims were joined by Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai and Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal for a memorial ceremony in the village of Karisparu.

Ministers Sukhai and Croal at the memorial service in Karisparu

Sabrina John, Belnisa Evans, Loreen Evans, Bibi Jeffery, and Omerfia Edwin hailed from Karisparu.

Minister Croal said the government continues to pledge its support to the grieving families, noting that it is quite tough to heal from such a deep loss.

He pleaded with the community to find comfort in the children’s treasured memories.

“In times of such unimaginable sorrow, words often feel inadequate. It felt so one year ago and it certainly feels so now. Yet, it is through our words and all of our presence that we are here to offer support. We stand united as a country, as a people, and as a family to mourn the loss of our loved ones,” he highlighted.

Minister Sukhai lays a wreath during the memorial service

Minister Croal emphasised the importance of uniting to rebuild and support those mostly affected by the incident.  

“Even in our darkest moments, Karisparu, please remember you are not alone. The strength of our community lies in our ability to support one another, lift each other, and offer a shoulder to lean on. You also have that in your government and the people of Guyana.”

Similarly, Minister Sukhai stressed, “We need to strengthen bonds and relationships among villagers. Let us commit to the philosophy of being a united village which by extension will result in a united country.”

Minister Croal lays a wreath during the memorial service

Other government ministers also journeyed to different communities to support the grieving families.

Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d), Mark Phillips; Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues; Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton and Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond attended the memorial service in Micobie for the 12 victims who resided there.

Meanwhile, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharat, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Sonia Parag, and Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy attended a similar event in Chenapou Village.

Following the fire ordeal on May 21, 2023, swift interventions were made by the government, providing the necessary support to the affected families and friends of the young lives.

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