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Massy Group Guyana last week Friday launched a Women’s Grocery Voucher Programme, targeting victims of domestic abuse with a $15,000 voucher redeemable at any of their stores.
According to a press release from the company 100 women are set to benefit from the $1.5M programme dubbed “SAFE – Stop Abuse, Stay Empowered”
The programme was launched at the company’s distribution headquarters at Montrose on the East Coast of Demerara. Under this initiative, which is being done in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security (MHSSS), each woman will receive a grocery voucher valued at $15,000. The vouchers are redeemable at any of the five Massy Stores located at Providence, Plantation Turkeyen, Montrose, Vreed-en-Hoop and Ruimveldt, Massy Group said in a news release.
According to Massy Group, the project aims to assist women who are in abusive situations, and the MHSS will screen and identify those 100 recipients. Mr. Navindra Thakur, Senior. Vice President of the Group spoke about the Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility Projects over the years with specifics to women empowerment and committed to the Group continuing the SAFE Grocery voucher programme in the years ahead.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr. Vindhya Persaud said, “I am very happy to have this collaboration with Massy as it ensures that an initiative that I have long wanted to happen really manifest in the sense that we are able to provide survivors of domestic violence with the wherewithal to provide for themselves, with our support, when they are leaving their homes.”
Financial abuse occurs in almost every domestic abuse situation and because of this, many people in such situations cannot provide for themselves thus they find it difficult to leave. The minister said Massy’s financial contribution will help survivors to procure basic needs when they leave. “I want to thank Massy for coming on board as the first company in this invaluable step,” she said, while adding that the ministry will continue to seek more support for those affected by domestic violence.
Notably, the Women’s Grocery Voucher Initiative is just one part of Massy’s 2022 activities to support its staff and the wider community as it relates to mental health well-being and professional life, suicide prevention and domestic violence. Assistant Vice President and Head of the Group’s Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Steering Committee, Mr. Christpen Bobb-Semple shared that the objectives of the SAFE grocery voucher programme are twofold.
First it seeks to empower women by bringing immediate relief so that they do not have to second guess and subject themselves to abusive and at-risk situations. And, secondly, the programme will provide counselling to men to engender positive coping behaviours. He also shared some of the activities the Group has embarked upon for 2022.
Among them is on Wednesday, August 3rd employees participated in a zoom session with representatives from the Mental Health Unit, Ministry of Health covering “Mental Health Well-being in my Personal and Professional Life.”
Massy also plans to conduct classroom sessions for those employees who were unable to join the virtual discussion. On August 8th, employees completed a Life -Skills and Well-Being Assessment. Coming out of this exercise, employees have been receiving the necessary support based on the assessment findings.
Additionally, Massy said on September 10, 2022,and October 10, 2022 employees will be encouraged to wear yellow and green on World Suicide Prevention Day and World Mental Health Day respectively. The company will also distribute tokens to help observe the days. Banners will also be used to communicate awareness and prevention education.
The Massy Group also partnered with the E.R Burrowes School of Art and launched an art competition on August 8thwhere participants have to depict the theme “Creating Hope Through Action” on their canvas paintings. Four winners will be selected in two age categories, 13-17 years and 18-35 years. A total of $150,000 is up for grabs. Persons are encouraged to visit the Facebook pages for any of the Group’s operating companies for more details. Entries are due by September 10, 2022.
Apart from the Women’s Grocery Voucher Programme, Massy said its partnership with the MHSSS this year also includes working directly in selected communities to engender change in men. We will be supported by trained and qualified counselors.
Head Table . From Left Massy Group Snr VP Navindra Thakur, MHSSS Minister Dr Vindyha Persaud and Massy Group Assistant VP Christpen Bobb-Semple
Massy Group officials and Minister of Human Services, Dr Vindyha Persaud unveil one of the vouchers