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Official Opening of the Gender-Based Violence Mobile Remote Unit in Region One, Mabaruma, Guyana

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The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security (MHSSS), in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), is proud to announce the official opening of the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Mobile Remote Unit in Khan’s Hill, Mabaruma, Region One.

The Opening ceremony was attended by key dignitaries including Minister of Human Services and Social Security (MHSSS), Dr. Vindhya Vasini Persaud, EU Ambassador Mr. Rene Van Ness, UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Yesim Oruc, UNFPA Liaison Officer, Guyana Office, Mr. Adler Bynoe, Director of Social Services Mrs. Abike Samuels, Director of Child Care Ms. Levine Gouveia, Deputy Permanent Secretary Arianna Beharry and other senior staff of MHSSS, Regional Executive Officer  (REO) Mr. Seewchan and Deputy REO Mr. Cuffy of Region one, the Regional Chairman, Mr. Brentnol Ashley, community members, NOGs and other stakeholders.

The opening of this Mobile Unit highlights the significant commitment of the Human Services Ministry to the fight against gender-based violence in remote areas and the Hinterland regions of Guyana.

The GBV Mobile Remote Unit aims to provide accessible and immediate support to survivors of gender-based violence in Mabaruma and surrounding areas. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to extend all essential services to remote and Indigenous communities, under one roof including:

Intervention services in all cases of Gender-based violence including first responders, Survivors Advocates, cases reporting services via Police, and on-site medical assistance to ensure immediate care for survivors

Counselling and Psycho-social support to address trauma and promote healing.

Legal support and advocacy to help survivors

⁠Shelter services for women and children.

Community education and awareness programs to prevent GBV and promote gender equality.

This comprehensive model mirrors the newly operational Hope and Justice Center in Region 4 which also provides all services for survivors of violence, both adults and children under one roof.

In addition, the Ministry of Human Services will be offering other services catering to senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and general welfare.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security: “Our commitment to eradicating gender-based violence is unwavering. The GBV Mobile Remote Unit is a testament to our dedication to reaching every corner of our country, ensuring that no one is left behind in our fight against this scourge.

Accessibility and inclusivity are hallmarks of the MHSSS service provision as we continue to leverage all that was gained during the Spotlight Initiative and merge it with our programs to crest a robust framework to combat GBV and provide pivotal services to assist survivors while at the same time rolling out campaigns on education and awareness across communities. “

Remarks were given by the EU Ambassador who reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to projects by the Government of Guyana of this nature.

UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Oruc also added her words of support and praised the Ministry for the achievement. Mr. Adler Bynoe gave a comprehensive overview of the purpose of the building and emphasized that it will also provide mobile services.  The event was chaired by Dr. Cona Husbands head of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Unit of the Human Services Ministry.

The GBV Mobile Remote Unit is expected to:

• Improve reporting and response to incidents of gender-based violence.

• Enhance the support network for survivors, fostering a safer and more supportive community.

• Increase awareness and education on GBV prevention and response, leading to a cultural shift towards gender equality.

As the GBV Mobile Remote Unit begins its operations, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and its partners remain dedicated to monitoring its impact and effectiveness. This initiative continues to serve as a model to combat gender-based violence across Guyana and beyond. The Hope and Justice Centre was commissioned in Region Four Lusignan in January 2024, another will be commissioned in Region Three, shortly.

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