First Blog – Welcome to ‘Guyana Help The Kids’
I’ve never done one of these before so I’ll ask everyone to bear with me as I get the hang of this. This blog will basically be used to provide updates and information on a project that I’m a part of, as well as my thoughts and feelings as we undertake this. Please feel free to comment/ask questions.
If you’ve made it to this blog then I’ll assume you know who I am (Ryan Hinds) and what I do (#34 Hamilton Tiger-Cats). What might be less known is that, though I am Canadian, I was born in Georgetown, Guyana. Guyana has a population of 750,000 and has only 2 certified Pediatricians, both of whom work in the private sector. There are 6 pediatricians of Guyanese descent practicing in Toronto. Its’ infant mortality rate, though improving, is still higher than that of most Caribbean Islands.
When I was 8 my parents moved our family from Georgetown to Toronto to provide a better life and opportunities for their kids. Though we left Guyana when I was only 8, I remember everything about this neighborhood vividly.
<--Current pic of my old house.
How the Project Was Born
Last November, while interning at McMaster Children’s Hospital, I was approached by my supervisor Julia Pemberton and Dr. Brian Cameron (who has done extensive work in Guyana) about a project that would aim to raise capital costs to possibly construct and supply equipment for the Pediatric ward of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). Since my family left Guyana in ’94, I’ve always wanted to but never been able to return. I jumped at the opportunity to return to my country of origin and give back in, what could be, a very powerful way.
This project is partnered with the non-profit organization Guyana Help The Kids (GHTK). GTHK and its’ founder, Dr. Nar Singh (Guyanese born), is aimed at improving the health of this most vulnerable sector of Guyana (www.guyanahelpthekids.com).
GHTK has done extensive of work in Guyana, particularly in the NICU.
Exactly a month from now, myself, Dr. Cameron, Dr. Singh, Dr. Andrea Hunter, and Ms. Julia Pemberton, will return to Guyana where we will be accompanied by a videographer to document the trip. The trip will consist of executive meetings with various Guyanese official, visiting the GPHC to assess the needs first hand, and revisiting some places from my childhood (tear-jerkers). I’m also bringing my father with me as he’s yet to return to the country he left almost 18 years ago.
How Do We Actually Raise Money for the Cause
In addition to donations through the GHTK website (www.guyanahelpthekids.com), there will be a couple fundraising events capped off by a dinner (dates TBA). Info on these events will come after the initial trip to Guyana.
I can’t express how much this trip means to me and how blessed I am that playing in the CFL as a Hamilton Tiger-Cat has opened this door to, hopefully, bring the attention needed to take a step in helping the children of Guyana get the care they desperately need. As an Ambassador of GHTK, and a former resident of Georgetown, this would be the ultimate form of giving back and I hope you can help along the process.