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GDF impacts Cashew Island through Education



Continuing on its mission of ‘Service’ to the nation, the Guyana Defence Force, has over the last three years, been impacting the lives of members of a small Amerindian Community in Region 6, in a way that will have lasting benefits. Cashew Island, located in New River, approximately two and a half miles from Base Camp Jaguar, is a community with an average population of 80 persons, including children.

Prior to 2011, there was no school in the community and the persons there spoke their traditional languages , Trio and Wai- Wai. The Toshao of the community, Kenke Yiamo ,who has functioned as a guide for GDF personnel during patrols, requested the Force’s assistance in teaching his people.

Now Major ( ret’d) Ivan McNaughton and his wife , Yvette McNaughton , a trained teacher, were  re-employed by the Force to teach the children of that community.

The children  are being taught reading, basic mathematical and composition skills.

“When we first started, it was very difficult for us to communicate with them. Language was the major barrier. Today, even the little five year olds understand English. Those who have absorbed the language faster, help each other during test time with translations . The parents are also very eager to have their children learn,” Maj (ret’d) Mc Naughton stated. He added that even though the school population is meager, the work is substantial.

Four of the older children have since been brought to Georgetown to pursue Vocational training.

He noted too that they have since implemented evening classes at the school for several parents who are being taught Reading and Basic Mathematics. “Our biggest wish is for the children in particular, to learn to read and write properly so that they can come out to further their studies. It is my hope that they 0will return to their communities and help out as skilled people are really needed there,” he added.

The Guyana Defence Force has been the driving Force in contributing to the welfare of this community, from the provision of employment and infrastructure to medical care.