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Guyana’s First Lady and PANCAP Champion Sandra Granger launches Foundation dedicated to empowerment of vulnerable groups

December 13, 2019

Thursday, 12 December 2019 (ANIRA Foundation, Georgetown Guyana): The ANIRA Foundation Inc., a not-for-profit organisation focused on the education and empowerment of vulnerable groups, will increase efforts to advocate for the health and well-being of Guyanese youth, particularly young women through strategic initiatives focused on adolescent health and rights and building the intellectual capacity of young Guyanese.

While the Foundation was officially launched on Thursday 12 December 2019, it has successfully implemented projects aimed at the empowerment of young women and the education of youth since 2017.

Founded by H. E. Sandra Granger, First Lady of Guyana and Co-Chair, Spouses of the CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN), the Foundation has embarked on a project, “Pilots of the Caribbean” with the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Social Protection to reduce the amount of teenage pregnancies among vulnerable girls (in and out of school youth), decrease the rates of HIV and Syphilis among sexually active youth, immunize vulnerable girls against HPV and increase the amount of post-pregnant teens who complete school or vocational skills programmes.  The project also aims to create awareness of gender-based violence and its effect on vulnerable women’s exposure to HIV.  The project is under the umbrella of the Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN) and is supported by the Gilead Foundation at a cost of USD$ 251, 000.00.

The Foundation will also seek to foster a passion for Science, Technology and Mathematics with the distribution of “Robot Kits” to school-aged youth in communities across Guyana including Hinterland Regions through a collaboration with STEMGuyana.

Ms Granger is passionate about safeguarding the health and wellbeing of vulnerable women and the empowerment of youth which inspired her to create the Foundation.

“Beyond providing access to health services and education, ANIRA aims to place the power of securing good health and the ability to earn an income into the hands of vulnerable groups,” stated Ms Granger, “it is not enough to provide access to health and skills training, ANIRA will ensure young girls and youth have the requisite skills and knowledge to safeguard their sexual and reproductive health and to secure employment”.

With the expert skills and experience of a 14-member board of directors and a project implementation team, the Foundation will serve to fulfil Ms Granger’s vision of self-sufficient Guyanese youth and empowered young women.  The Foundation’s work is external to Ms Granger’s responsibilities as First Lady and will serve to achieve her goal of a better life for Guyanese youth.

“ANIRA goes beyond my work as First Lady to fulfil my lifelong dream of a Guyana where our young people have the knowledge to make healthy choices and can utilise their innate talents and skills to provide for their families,” stated Ms Granger, “The Foundation exists to secure the future of Guyana’s youth by placing the power of knowledge into the hands of vulnerable groups”.

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What is the ANIRA Foundation?

The ANIRA Foundation is a not-for-profit company registered in Guyana dedicated to the education and empowerment of vulnerable groups.  The Foundation is chaired by H. E. Sandra Granger, First Lady of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and Vice-chair of the Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN).

Helpful links:

 The ANIRA Foundation


 Global AIDS Update 2018

WHO recommendations on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (2018)

Editor’s Notes

Background to “Pilots of the Caribbean”

The project will encompass HIV and Syphilis testing, treatment and prevention with social interventions to keep young girls in school.  It will also seek to foster economic development, end gender-based violence and link men and boys to health services.  The rapid diagnostic test kits, which will be utilized for testing, will be provided by the Ministry of Public Health and the Foundation.

The project will target 500 adolescents (100 males and 400 females) between the ages of 12 and 24.  Phase 1 will target the Sophia community, while Phases II and III will focus on vulnerable, mainly indigenous communities in Moruca, Region 1 (Barima-Waini) and Lethem, Region 9.  The Foundation will align the sensitisation and knowledge sharing with the educational needs and requirements of each community.