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“We were on a truck and of course I like to hug, and I don’t care what you look like, I don’t care if you’re red, yellow or blue or green. I come out and give you a hug and tell you that the Lord loves you and then I give you food. I just simply love people.”By Dale AndrewsThis week’s ‘special person’ prefers to be referred to only as ‘Sister H’. She did not give any reason but it apparently has to do with her work as a volunteer with prisoners in Canada. She is now creating a serious impression in her homeland, Guyana, with her many charitable ventures.Although she has lived most of her life out of this country, many people – especially the less fortunate (and these include prisoners both present and former) – are already enchanted by her approach to humanity.This daughter of the soil directs a street, prison and community organization in Canada, which entails working with the homeless and prisoners,Cheap NFL jerseys China, as well as with their families.However, she has seen the need to do the same in her country of birth, and while many are not aware of the impact of her work here, the beneficiaries and their families are living proof of the love ‘Sister H’ has for the human being.Her work stems from the teachings of the Bible and since ‘Sister H’ is a devout Christian, to her, fulfilling the word of God is natural.“We are obedient to what the Bible says. We clothe the naked, house the homeless, feed the hungry, and that’s what we do in Canada.”A number of years ago, ‘Sister H’ told herself that she had to come back home to put something into Guyana and ever since the first year, her activity locally has been incrementally bigger.Kaieteur News caught up with her when she visited last December to bring Christmas cheer to the needy, and although she had not planned to spend the entire holidays here, there was something she had to do which necessitated her presence – that was to feed the homeless.“I came down and I got a few volunteers and we cooked a meal that I would customarily eat in Canada, and it was my best ever. We had a lot of food,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, but once we got on the streets it was gone, because there were people sleeping on the streets and I woke them up. I heard so many people saying to me, they don’t have hungry people in Guyana, and I proved them to be dishonest because I saw it for myself,” ‘Sister H’ said.While she is aware that there are others who feed the homeless, she believes that with the help of friends, she has started something which she hopes will continue on a larger scale.“It’s not like giving them a little channa, we gave them food. They had the baked chicken and the whole works. Oh my goodness! We were on a truck and of course I like to hug,Wholesale NHL Jerseys, and I don’t care what you look like, I don’t care if you’re red, yellow or blue or green. I come out and give you a hug and tell you that the Lord loves you and then I give you food. I just simply love people. And if you’re in a wheelchair while I’m out there, if you need crutches or you need someone to talk to,Cheap Jerseys From China, we are there. If you’re on drugs, there might not be anything I can do, but I put you on to someone else. I try to extend what I do in Canada here,” she stated.During her last visit to Guyana in December, ‘Sister H’, a member of Guyana Christian Charities,China Cheap Jerseys, a Canada-based organization, and her friends took 30 teenaged girls from Tiger Bay, Mocha and other depressed communities to the Spashmin’s Resort.She pointed out that usually she likes to work with children but she added that it is so hard to organize activities for teenaged girls.“There were two things I decided I wanted to do, before I left Canada – to feed the homeless and I wanted to do something with young girls at Splashmin’s. That was accomplished.”But one of her most despairing observations occurred on her visit to the infamous ‘Plastic City’ on the West Coast of Demerara.“It was just sad to see the way people live and I would hope that the government would do something or organizations would get together and do something,” ‘Sister H’ said.Having had the experience of ‘Plastic City’, she is committed to rendering some form of assistance to the citizens there.“Things that are needed we will send to help them. I went into Plastic City and I was in tears,” ‘Sister H’ told Kaieteur News.Apart from the outdoor activities, her organisation helps in donating medication to hospitals as well.She was loud in praise for the assistance of local businessman Billy Fernandes from John Fernandes Limited, who is also a part of Guyana Christian Charities.Her charity work in December also entailed visits to Bartica, Bare Roots and Sacksakalli among other communities, giving out clothing and gifts to the residents there.There was also a party for the young ones at the Ruimveldt Children’s home, an entity that ‘Sister H’ has been working with for a number of years.“I would really like people to open their eyes and sponsor that particular home because they are doing an awesome job and they do need assistance. We could only do so much,” she said.Her desire to help others in her homeland was nurtured from an early age even before she left Guyana many, many years ago.“When I left Guyana, I always had the urge to come back. My husband was studying and I said that I’m going to come back but we started to have children so I never got the chance to really come back. When I started the outreach in Canada as a one-man show and I began to get volunteers, you know, it just came to me, ‘what am I doing in Canada where they have so many of us, they need this in Guyana.”She said that it was not just about coming to Guyana and going from church to church preaching the Word.“I think we have so much of the word in Guyana, it’s just bubbling over and over. We need people to come in and put finances in here, to listen to people, help those druggies on the street, help those street people and that’s what it’s all about.”.She has been doing this for 15 years now.As she puts it,Wholesale Football Jerseys, “I was born in Guyana a long time ago” and her early education was obtained at St. Stephen’s Primary, after which she attended Chatam High for one year before becoming a St. Rose’s girl.She came from a middle/upper class Georgetown family. Her father originated from Bent Street and for those old enough to remember, had a betting shop at the corner of America and Longden Streets.“He had all these horses and he did the gambling stuff and all that. That was his business. And we grew up on that, but you know, I just thank God for Jesus that we are all set free from that,” she said, highlighting her status as a born-again Christian.However, she was keen to point out that her best days of growing up in Guyana were spent at the race tracks.“We used to go there when we had the meetings and you had the horses from Trinidad and it was all exciting,” Sister H said with the excitement of a little child. And it was if she was in that era remembering it all as if it were yesterday.She betrayed the nostalgic emotions displayed by many Guyanese residing overseas for a long period, who shudder at what their country has become today.‘Sister H’ also remembers her younger days when she and her St. Rose’s colleagues would play basketball after which they would go to the seawall. She did not forget the after-lunch parties that were prevalent among high schoolers in those days.“Guyana was really nice then… they didn’t have as many cars as they have now, but we used to hang out a lot,” she reminisced, even naming some of her contemporaries who were a part of her ‘crowd’.Aileen Thomason nee Morgan, Terry Holder, the late Zeena Messiah and Yvonne Cooper, Ken Jarvis and Ken Duncan as well as Cicely Wilson, were all part of that special and cherished group of friends.She informed that a few years ago, the group had a reunion (Swansea) in Guyana with many persons who had not visited Guyana in decades participating. Ever since then, a number of them have been returning to Guyana on a regular basis. ‘Sister H’ is one of them.Soon after school, ‘Sister H’ went to Canada and got married. The union produced three children.In North America she developed her already growing yearning to help her fellow human beings who were less fortunate than she happened to be, and while she found it satisfying in her adopted country, she still experienced this void that was eating away at the centre of her heart.She longed to return home and do the same for her countrymen who she was sure needed her efforts more.“I always wanted to come back to Guyana, my heart is in Guyana,” she said.At first, she did not know what to expect, for when she left the land of many waters, the situation was vastly different from what it is today, of course, but she was prepared for whatever was to be the outcome.So her visits to Guyana are taken up by distributing stuff to the needy and less fortunate as well as meeting with prisoners and paying attention to their welfare.Her work with prisoners started many years ago and she is grateful to the Charlotte Street Wesleyan Church for carrying on the work.“I always say, prison ministry starts in prison. Everything is voluntary. So, once we get in there…there are families on the outside and we will work with their children. Maybe the husband or wife might be on drugs, we work with them also.Through her work, she was able to meet a young man whose parents were in need of a house at Zeelugt on the West Coast of Demerara.“We are assisting them to get a house through Food for the Poor,” she disclosed.“This is the sort of thing; you meet someone in prison, and it’s not just meeting someone in prison, you work with the families outside and that’s how the outreach grows,” she said.In fact when prisoners come out, they know where to find ‘Sister H’, if she’s in Guyana.“I was in Plastic City and a guy said, ‘Sister H, Sister H’. And he was selling stuff. Some people are doing excellent and you’re not hearing about the inmates that come out and are doing so well. You’re just hearing about those who are going back. But they do have people that come out and are doing excellent,” ‘Sister H’ pointed out.It was in prison that she met Mark Benschop.“He’s like my son now. We remain so close and I will always support him. I’m not interested in his politics but it’s about the heart that he has for people,” she said.She expressed thanks to Mr. Leon Davis of Food for the Poor who rendered significant assistance to make her interaction with inmates of the Georgetown Prison a success.Additionally, ‘Sister H’ works with prisoners in Canada who are about to be deported and those in Guyana who were already involuntarily repatriated.And even those foreigners who are incarcerated in the local jail have a lot to thank ‘Sister H’ for.“I take their names, their phone numbers, and when I get up to Canada I make contact with their families. Not only in Canada, I have a guy from Africa and when I get up to Canada, I’m going to get in touch with his family just to let them know what he’s doing. So this is what the work is all about and I really love doing it. it’s not a pay job, but you know what, I get so much satisfaction from doing this and this is something I always wanted to do,” she assured.But although ‘Sister H’ finds satisfaction in the people she is interacting with in Guyana, there are some things that she is disappointed with.“Guyana was a beautiful place and I still think it is. But I’m a little disappointed because it’s not as clean as it should be.” Coming from someone who lives in Canada, the observation is not surprising.“The rubbish on the streets. That is the first thing. Homes are deteriorating, mind you, they have beautiful homes. The cemetery is horrible. I think it’s such a disgrace, because we have people who left the remains of their relatives there and coming back home, one cannot even see it,” she lamented.‘Sister H’ had even contemplated that since Guyana is the place where God chose for her to be born, she wanted to be buried here in Le Repentir Cemetery, but having attended a funeral there last year, the sight of the facility extinguished any such longing.But her visits back home are not always filled with despair, for apart from assisting the less fortunate, she receives satisfaction and is heartened by the way people, especially fathers, are shouldering their responsibilities.This is despite the negative perception that is painted about family values in Guyana.“Fathers now are taking children to school. Kids going to school and fathers are holding their hands…that really didn’t happen a lot when we were growing up. This relationship with fathers and children is just wonderful. I sit here on the balcony and I see fathers pass with their children, the father would give the child a hug and the child would wave goodbye, those are wonderful things,” ‘Sister H’ said with that smile that spelt satisfaction on her face.That unconditional love for humanity makes ‘Sister H’ a ‘Special Person’
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