Home NGO Activity Giving Back Blog (Part 1): My NGO Work In Guyana Has...

Giving Back Blog (Part 1): My NGO Work In Guyana Has Been Unnecessarily Challenging…

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by STEMGuyana Director
Karen Abrams
I’ve been having a bit of a trying time in Guyana recently and I feel like I’m rapidly approaching a crossroad. My family and I have agreed to invest in this Guyana mission, even as they have made significant personal sacrifices. Yet if I even wrote about the multiple, ridiculous, petty, disrespectful inanities, I have had to ignore in order to get this work done, you simply wouldn’t believe.
I have walked away from other projects. Earlier this year, I gave up a $400k funding opportunity because it would take me away from the development work I had committed to with STEMGuyana. I’ve also tabled another lucrative project opportunity in the US for more than 4 years because I wanted to focus on this Guyana project. My commitment to this Guyana project is not about money. Good gawd! there’s way more project funds available in the US for the work that I do.
I am investing in Guyana because some folks in Guyana invested in me. This mission is personal. I owe a debt to Guyana and it is one I want to repay. Additionally, I really do see an opportunity to work with partners to prepare Guyana’s young people to be globally competitive innovators and problem solvers and the evidence of success is all around us. Although the work is rewarding, the journey is increasingly becoming an uphill struggle.
I used to have unlimited energy to fight but I don’t anymore. I want to be able to do my work in peace and without regard to politics and stupid personal vendettas. That’s the line I draw in the sand.
The crossroad is rapidly approaching. I’m sharing this because I don’t want y’all expressing shock or surprise. Many people in Guyana seem to believe that some are born to accept abuse and to struggle indefinitely even if for a lifetime. I am not one to believe that. I take seriously the investment made by my ancestors for hundreds of years and for that price they expected that I would not only survive, but thrive.