The executive of the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) met President Donald Ramotar on Wednesday seeking to continue the ongoing endeavour of collaboration with the Guyana government on humanitarianism.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) release, the organisation has an active programme for orphans and vulnerable children, and has a presence on rights commissions that represent children, women and gender issues and organisations that promote dialogue among the different religious faiths.
CIOG President, Fazeel Ferouz, said “We have to sit down with the relevant ministries and ministers in the government… we are continuing our work with the health and human services and education ministries because as you know, the CIOG has schools.” During the discussion, President Ferouz used the occasion to extend an invitation to President Ramotar to the organisation’s planned religious event at the National Cultural Centre in February, with international nasheed group Aa’shiq al-Rasul.
The organisation provides sanctuaries for youths in difficult circumstances through its Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) programme at centres at East and West Berbice, East Coast and East Bank and West Demerara, Georgetown and Essequibo.
The orphans programme started in 1993 to provide financial, educational, medical and social assistance to orphans and vulnerable children. Additionally, the CIOG donates over $900,000 to these children on a monthly basis. Those successful at National Grade Six Assessment and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) also receive bursary awards.
The CIOG operates four schools which many of these children attend free of cost and are provided with vitamins, clothing, shoes, housing assistance, spectacles and medical check-ups. GINA
Alleged child molestation
A religious teacher from the East Coast of Demerara, is under investigations for allegedly molesting a number of boys under his tutelage, was sent on leave following the accusations, the Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (CIOG) said yesterday.
The CIOG statement was one of two issued by the Muslim community, denouncing the alleged actions of the teacher, following startling allegations made by the victims and their relatives.
Police officials have since said that a police file could be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutor as early as today for advice. In a press release the CIOG said “The individual in question is employed by this organization. Since the allegations have been made, this person was sent on leave pending the outcome of the investigation and any case in the courts,”.
According to the organization, which is the largest umbrella body for Muslims in the country, it has never and will never condone any unlawful act. “Our nation’s children are our hope for the future, and caring for them is one of our greatest responsibilities. Our commitment to preventing child abuse and neglect by promoting healthy families, protecting children, and supporting communities throughout this country, remains unblemished. We have reinforced initiatives that enhance the efforts of child protective service agencies to prevent and treat child abuse.”
CIOG said that it will continue work to ensure all children have the ability to live free from abuse and neglect by advocating for the safety of all young people.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Islamic Trust (GIT) is appalled by the news, alleging that a teacher molested young boys. “The GIT on behalf of the Muslim community wishes to state categorically that Islam clearly condemns and outlaws such abomination in the strongest possible terms and that the Muslim Authorities in Guyana in no way condone such disgraceful behaviour.”
The allegations would be shocking for Guyana, especially as it centers on religious teacher in the Muslim community, long considered one of the most conservative groups in the country.