For the next few weeks leading up to the trip to Guyana, Drew Edwards from The Hamilton Spectator has graciously offered to post my blogs on his blog The Scratching Post. Can't thank Drew enough for this as Drew's blog gets around 10,000 views. The first and second blog is already up. Hopefully this will help get the word out even more. Can't tell y'all how much we appreciate all the support the support the cause has been receiving. Don't forget to check out the Guyana Help The Kids Website where information can be found and donations can be made. Thanks again.
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
<--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).
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.