Rated 10 out of 10
For the first time ever, activists, advocates and affirmation agents were lauded and recognized for their efforts to make a difference and bring about positive change in Guyana. Those so honored were:
➢ philanthropist, social activist and business person, Ms. Ameena Gafoor;
➢ social and empowerment activist, Pandit Suresh Sugrim, head of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission;
➢ the African Cultural and Development Association – ACDA – headed by social and cultural activist and empowerment advocate, Eric Phillips;
➢ social activist and media personality, WB Reaz;
➢ women’s empowerment and rights entity, Help & Shelter;
➢ animal rights advocate and activist, Syeada Manbodh;
➢ indigenous rights advocate and activist, Ashton Simon;
➢ children rights activist/advocate and philanthropist, Ms. Raheema Rahaman;
➢ versatile singing star, social activist and philanthropist, Terry Gajraj;
➢ the Guyana branch of the international empowerment organization, Food for the Poor;
➢ acclaimed empowerment and social activist, scientist, academic and business person, Dr. Suresh Narine;
➢ Cara Hotel, which has been and continues to be very supportive of NGOs across the board and their activities, as well as various causes;
➢ the Guyana branch of Metro Computer & Office Supplies, owned by New York businessman, Ron Ramnarayan, which has not only been supportive of all sorts of causes and those who advocate for such causes, but which has also itself been giving back to these causes as well as to schools and other institutions;
➢ Pandit Deodat Persaud, head of the Canje, Berbice based, Golden Om Dharmic Youth organization, which has been organizing a variety of activities on suicide prevention and related issues as well as focusing on culture, especially music and dance as empowerment tools;
➢ TCV Managing Director and Guyana Coordinator, Ms. Bibi Ahamad.
This event was indeed ground breaking and an endeavor that its organizer, The Caribbean Voice (TCV), felt was truly needed on the social landscape in Guyana. In fact, according to the rationale outlined by TCV, El Dorado Awards was launched with the following goals in mind:
i. To build connections between the business and professional community on the one hand and activists and advocates on the social landscape on the other hand with the hope that ongoing partnerships can be established to harness social responsibility and enhance social activism.
ii. To help foster unity across various existing divides and emphasize the concept of Guyanese first and foremost.
iii. To recognize and honor those who give of their time and efforts and go beyond the scope of their jobs and professions to lend a helping hand and/or work to make society better.
And, in keeping with TCV’s theme that ‘suicide prevention is everybody’s business’ the El Dorado Awards was aimed at bringing stakeholders to an interactive social setting and fostering communication, to explore possibilities of collaboration and ongoing, concerted efforts. The awards platform itself was meant to allow scope to recognize the many, many individuals and entities who work tirelessly and often quietly on the social landscape to address suicide and related issues, as well as to combat animal cruelty, help the poor and powerless, propagate and promote culture as a tool for empowerment, campaign for civil and other rights and so on.
Based on feedback, and the tremendous support garnered, the awards will now be an annual event.