United Bridge Builders Mission saving lives one at a time in Guyana

Bonita Montaque, chief executive officer and founder of the United Bridge Builders Mission (UBBM, seventh from left) with executive and members of the organization.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Bonita Montaque, chief executive officer and founder of the United Bridge Builders Mission (UBBM) is bent on ending the scourge of domestic violence that is plaguing citizens in Guyana, mainly women, who are losing their lives to senseless cruelty.

Montaque, executives and members who started the New York and Guyana-based non-profit (501 C 3 Tax Exempt) organization, are making impressive strides in Guyana, where a recent Easter fundraising extravaganza at the LBI Sports complex on the East Bank of Demerara, raised much needed funds to move its agenda forward.

Domestic Violence Prevention, HIV/AIDS, and advocacy programs are paramount to ensure the safety and health of members of the community.

The festive program of steel pan entertainment by pannist Camo Williams, a  stand-up comedy by the hilarious, Chow Pow, and a captivating medley of ballads by international vocalist, Mark Ferdinand, gave organizers a time to relax away from their indelible work and grueling schedule, for a charitable cause.

From left: Jean Layne, recently retired Consul General of Guyana to NY, Barbara Atherly, Zoe Adams and Suzette Alison Fortune, proprietress of Back Yard Barbecue and Grill, West Ruimveldt, Georgetown.  Photo by Tangerine Clarke

The afternoon festivities, which brought out recently retired Consul General of Guyana to New York, Barbara Atherly, among many others, who won prizes via ‘a musical napkins’ game, raised much needed funds to continue the group’s Youth Empowerment Workshop, Suicide Prevention and Therapeutic Support agenda, and Child Advocacy plan of action.

Montague, a former police officer of the Guyana Police Force, and humanitarian, who has impacted the lives of many through outreaches to enrich the lives of citizens, has been crafting strategies to create a platform for free expression and creative art development for the young population in her homeland where she has been residing for more than three years.

The UBBM founder, who has said, “invest in our Women today for stronger families tomorrow,” earlier this year commended 40 women and girls who pursued the Cosmetology Scholarship Program at Beautiful “U” Salon in Georgetown, which has existed for decades.

“This collaborative program is no doubt an investment into the lives of many women with goals of transforming their lives making them self sufficient and less vulnerable. A mission UBBM has been committed to over the many years,” she said.

The women received cake, ice cream and roses with appropriate music to complement the day.

“Any program UBBM commits to must be productive and fun. We believe learning should be fun, hence our approach is always different.
“The psychosocial component is a big focus of our work. If you feel good, you perform better. It’s that simple,” she said.

Pannist Camo Williams entertaining the UMMB Easter extravaganza in Guyana. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

The group is also focused on youth development, and she noted that with the aid of music, drama and other self-motivating skills, youths are open to communicating for a better livelihood.

The organization has also begun its Meals on Wheels program to target persons with HIV/AIDS, who are shut-in, and students from five schools in the area.

The overwhelming success of the program was evident by the fact that all participating students were able to attend higher learning, according Montague and her team.

United Bridge Builders Mission, which has provided support to victims of domestic violence and their families during counseling sessions, is committed to providing victims and their families with a safety net, as staff keep watch over them at its East Bank of Demerara location.

The group that depends on donations, also identifies emergency accommodation and safe spaces and share food hampers.

Sensitization marches, rallies and media activities will continue to spread the word on the importance of ending domestic violence.

With taglines: Women Rights are Human Rights Women Fighting for Women, the organization is committed to its mandate that has changed the lives of scores of women.

To make a donation, go to United Bridge Builders Mission on Facebook.

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