[excerpt from the Guyana Chronicle. Original article can be found here.]

On Friday, April 16th, 2010, Three Rivers Kids Foundation officially opened its office in Guyana with free workplace space provided by the Gandhi Youth Organisation (GYO).


Speaking with the Guyana Chronicle newspaper yesterday at the GYO building on Woolford Avenue, Georgetown, President of the Organisation, Mrs. Jeanette Singh, said the aim is to serve poor Guyanese children whose parents cannot afford proper medical care for them.

She said the organisation started off treating cardiac cases but over time began handling several other illnesses that cannot be treated in Guyana. Though kids are targeted, Singh said that, since 2008, the organization has helped several adults. “We can’t say no to a sick person. A life is a life after all”.

The internationally recognised organisation is supported by voluntary donations and by means of fund-raising activities such as golf tournaments and boat cruises. Singh explained that the organisation faced a financial struggle initially, but over the past two years it has taken an amazing leap as people have been willing to make donations, provided they see the results.

Over the last five years, she said they have managed to help some 62 children, with the majority being from Guyana, and the minority from India, where one of the branches also exists. By the end of this year Singh said another branch in New York will be completed.

She recalled that a great accomplishment has been helping one young female to complete four open heart surgeries, with the final one that will sustain her life forthcoming.

Singh said they will be conducting a free cardiac clinic, which has already been approved by the Ministry of Health, from September 27 to October 2 later this year. She added that the organisation is working closely with the Caribbean Heart Institute (CHI).

Reflecting on the origin of the organisation, Singh said she never returned to Guyana after leaving at an early age, but was forced to do so when her father was murdered by bandits.

When she came home in the 1980’s, she recalled that she went searching for a childhood friend, Eva Baksh, whom she found teaching approximately 20 children at her home in La Grange, West Bank Demerara.

Her heart went out to the unfortunate children and, when she returned home, Singh said she began sending food, clothing and other items for them, with the help of her husband.

She said she also noticed that the children were in need of medical care and therefore sent medicines, which were distributed by her friend.

Having worked as a nurse for 25 years in the United Kingdom and Canada, Singh said she recognised that India was offering good health care at a low cost and she began investigating the possibility of taking the children there for medical treatment. Her husband proved to be very instrumental in this regard as he hails from India, she said.

As the demands kept growing, Singh said she decided to register what she was doing in Canada, which eventually led to the establishment of four branches.

Two GYO Committee members, Dwarka Nauth Budram and Muneshwar Sawh, showed up at the opening ceremony yesterday and expressed their delight at being able to accommodate the office of the organization on the GYO’s premises.

Budram said when they first heard about it, they realised that granting the space would assist the GYO in achieving some of its own objectives. He explained that the GYO is a charitable organisation that also seeks to reach out to poor people.

Budram said what he appreciates about the Three Rivers Kids Foundation is that it reaches out to people of all walks of life and is not confined to helping people of a particular race or religious background.