Help & Shelter
Help & Shelter is a non-governmental organization formed as a response to the high incidence of violence, alcoholism and poverty in Guyana, the increase in family instability and the lack of support for victims wishing to leave abusive situations and/or in need of counseling and crisis services.
Help & Shelter was registered as a not-for-profit company in November 1994 and the organization was formally launched on 26 November 1995 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women).
The Crisis Service became operational in January 1996 in an office kindly provided by the Georgetown Legal Aid Clinic. It relocated on 1 March 1997 to the bottom flat of a building in the Ministry of Labour Compound on Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown, provided courtesy of the Government.
The Shelter for abused women and their children was built in 1999 with funding provided by the Basic Needs Trust Fund on land donated by the Government. First opened in November 2000, the Shelter had to be shut for 3 months in 2003 and from February 2004 to March 2006 due to lack of funds. The re-opening on 7 March 2006 was made possible through an arrangement with the Government of Guyana for the shelter to be used as both a place of safety for victims of domestic violence and as a temporary home for female and under-14 male victims of trafficking in persons.
Help & Shelter has become a recognized leader in the fight against violence in Guyana, particularly in the areas of domestic, sexual and child abuse
Our mission is to contribute to bringing about a society where attitudes to the use of violence and practices of violence have been transformed. Help & Shelter includes sexual, physical and psychological abuse in its definition of violence.
1.To work to build respect for the rights of women, children, youth and men to live free of violence and threat of violence.
2.To assist women, children, youth and men to develop alternative ways of handling power and resolving conflict.
3.To widen options for victims of domestic violence.
4.To establish a resource base to ensure the sustainability of Help & Shelter.
For Goal 1: To actively foster a high level of awareness among all sectors, both governmental and non-governmental, about the prevalence, causes and costs of violence, including violence in the home and in other personal relations, and about alternatives to the use of violence.
For Goal 2: To provide progressively enhanced counseling for women, children, youth and men who are the victims or perpetrators of violence.
For Goal 3: (1) To provide temporary (6 months) shelter for abused women and their children, with training that can develop psychological and practical skills needed for increased self-sufficiency.
(2) To contribute to improved legal recourse for victims of domestic, sexual and child abuse.
For Goal 4: (1) To work towards the economic self-support of the shelter.
(2) To develop and implement a well-articulated fundraising plan.
The main areas of work are:
- The provision of counseling, referral and other support services to survivors/victims of gender-based violence (GBV), child abuse and sexual exploitation
- The promotion of public awareness and building capacity for the prevention of GBV and child abuse, advocacy for improved protection and services for survivors/victims of GBV and networking with other like-minded organizations
- The provision of temporary (up to 6 months) shelter for abused women and their children.
Contact Person: Margaret Kertzious, Crisis Services Coordinator
Telephone numbers 592-227-3454; 225-4731 and fax 227-8353