BY EMILY SINGH
“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world” .These are the words of the late and great Nelson Mandela. In North American we often take education for granted, without thinking about the struggles other children have to go through just to get the necessary supplies for the school year. For Devindra Singh, growing up in Albouystown, Guyana in a less fortunate family meant not always having school supplies. Although Singh now lives in Toronto, St.Stephen’s Primary School will always remain close to his heart as it is where he attended as a child. Acknowledging that St.Stephen’s Primary School is in need of basic school supplies, Singh has spearheaded a project called “First Step” where he is calling on the community to take that first step in giving a child an enriching school life.
“I’ve decided to start this project because I want to help young children to achieve their educational goals without having to stress over not having pens, paper, paper, crayons etc. Education starts with a simple pencil and paper. I grew up in Albouystown, Guyana and coming from a poor family these are simple supplies that would have made my school experience much more exciting if provided with these necessary supplies. These supplies would not only benefit these children but their parents also. These parents would have such a relief not having to worry about buying school supplies for their children to go back to school,” says Singh.
This is a non profit organization so no cash donations will be accepted, instead he is encouraging the community to donate school supplies that will be useful for children between the ages of six to eleven years old. Currently there are two hundred students who attend St. Stephen’s Primary School.
“I will be going to Guyana in June before school closes for the summer holidays. I will be personally taking these supplies down myself to hand out to these students. Any donation big or small is greatly appreciated. Let’s all work as one to give these students the best school education experience they can ever imagine,” says Singh.
Since the launch of First Step, a Facebook page has been set up to connect the community to Singh and get on board with this amazing initiative. The response from the Caribbean community and community as a whole has been tremendous and heart warming. Education is often noted as the key to life and every child should have the tools they need to succeed. This is the very backbone behind First Step, removing the barriers between a child and the classroom.
Devindra Singh can be reached via his Facebook page “First Step” where arrangements for drop offs can be made.