By Dr Tara Singh
On Sunday August 30, 2020, MBBF sponsored a “Food Hamper Drive” on the Corentyne Coast in response to the suffering of villagers who have largely been negatively affected by the closure of the Skeldon Sugar estate as well as by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This wonderful program was organized and directed by MBBF’s Founder and President Mr Marcus Bisram. As chair of the Board of Trustees of MBBF, the writer is very privileged to be associated with this noble project. This is just one of several projects that MBBF has been conducting throughout Guyana and elsewhere and will continue on this path to help relieve the suffering, pain and distress, particularly of the poor and needy. MBBF humanitarian efforts cut across religious, ethnic and geographic boundaries.
MBBF wants to be a part of the effort to create a good future for Guiyanese, partly through inculcating the need and importance of charitable giving rather than for receiving. It is in this spirit also that during the period of the HIndu festival of Navratri, for example, MBBF distributed food hampers to 100 families on the Corentyne Coast. This targeted outreach was designed for single parents, widows, the neglected, the indigent, children, and other poverty-stricken families. The Foundation also promotes projects aimed at youth empowerment as well as bringing relief in various forms to the distressed and disadvantaged.
By providing quality service and funding for conditional student scholarships, medical treatments and surgeries, medical supplies, funeral expenses for those who can not afford, food hamper distribution, computer donations, and rendering donations to other nonprofit organizationa, like churches, MBBF attempts to reach as many people as possible, only to be limited by its available resources.
On Sunday August 30, 2020, we targeted 250 needy families and provided each with a hamper comprising rice, oil, onions, dhall, garlic, potatoes, chick peas, salt, chow mein, macaroni, etc. Each hamper is good for a family of 4 for 3 weeks. (Please see picture). The total value of each hamper is $(US) 25 or $(G) 5,000. Recipients were each reimbursed $(G)1,000 to cover their travel cost to collect their hampers at a central location at No. 70 Village. The response was so overwhelming, that many non-targeted familes also arrived in the expectation of receiving a food hamper. Since the 250 hampers were already distributed to identified families, MBBF, in keeping with its ideals of equity and to brighten the lives of needy families, decided to grant each of the additional 200+ families that turned up, a sum of $(G)5,000, the equivalent of $(US) 25. Naturally, they were exceedigly delighted.
Our mission is very simple. If we can add some sunshine into the lives of the needy, the indigent, and the distressed, we would be elated. We also hold dearly to this motto: “selfless service to humanity is service to God.”
Due to additional requests for assistance, our next food hamper drive will take place in two weeks’ time. We are currently assessing the need and the locality. We also express our gratitude to our MBBF members and neighbors who helped to sort out and share the food hampers. It was a spendid community effort. MBBF asks everyone to never abandon hope.