― awards 64 persons for contributions towards developmentIn observance of its 17th year in existence, Linden Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), For the Children’s Sake Foundation (FTCSF) on Saturday awarded 64 individuals who have played an integral role in assisting in community development through its philosophy of “service above self”.Some of the invitees at the award ceremony on Saturday eveningGuyana Times Journalist Utamu Belle, who was awarded for her contributions in journalismThe organisation, which boasts approximately 55 members including youths, celebrated the milestone with the hosting of a dinner and award ceremony at the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN).Speaking at the occasion, a member of the organisation, Tishon Fraser, asserted that over the years, FTCSF has developed into “a pillar of hope” for the community and adolescents through its programmes which are organised to promote healthy and positive social lifestyles.Many underprivileged families and vulnerable children and adolescents also benefit from various community development programmes each year.“This year we celebrate guided by the philosophy, ‘service above self’. We have stood on the shoulders of giants who have aided us in our mission – the business community, loyal members that remain persistent. And today we celebrate you, the ones who have worked selflessly, that gave of their most valuable asset – their time for the good of others…”, Fraser noted.The organisation’s Executive Director, Vernon Todd, in addressing the gathering alluded that it has been engaged in projects not only in Linden but throughout Guyana in collaboration with various agencies such as the Department of Youth. He also pointed to qualities which have kept the organisation on the right path over the years.“What keeps us together is the love, commitment and the passion that we have to develop young people…”, he explained.In her remarks, Linden Mayor Waneka Arrindell urged that the FTCSF continue along the path of positivity by spreading positive messages and saving lives. She noted that the organisation’s literacy programme is one which is going to propel it further. She also encouraged members to continue to stick together and to work towards the development of Linden youths and the community as a whole.“I want to say congratulations to you on 17 years. We have seen the change, Linden needs this kind of change…We’ve got to move Linden forward”, she urged.Former Member of Parliament (MP) Vanessa Kissoon also urged members of the organisation to continue along the path of service above self as she encouraged the youths to give back in meaningful ways to their communities. She also challenged them to rise above challenges and to play important roles in society.Meanwhile, an official, Aubrey Norton, congratulated the members of the organisation and urged its youths to develop a clear sense vision as to where they want to go in life and to be positive role models for the community. He further implored them to develop a clear plan for the future and to cultivate leadership skills such as self-discipline, problem-solving and positive attitude. These, he noted, can be cultivated by developing positive habits such as waking up early and being on time. Norton also urged the youths to focus on inter-generational preparation as well as to pursue educational and business development opportunities. He further challenged them to expand their vision to help others achieve these opportunities and to utilise technological skills as a means of advancement.The 64 awardees were all awarded trophies for contributions in various categories. Amongst some of the awardees were Mayor Arrindell, Nurse Colwyn Allen, teacher Charlyn Duke, Guyana Times journalist Utamu Belle, member of the organisation Samantha Henry, former Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon, June Julien, businesswoman Lauren Joseph and former MP Vanessa Kissoon. Todd was also awarded by members of the organisation for his contributions over the years.Some of the programmes executed by the organisation include school health clubs, youth seeking answers, skills training, literacy, back to school and toy drives, monthly satellite tables, peer education, outreaches, youth-friendly and capacity-building at church and youth clubs amongst others. Its functions are both social and humanitarian, with focus on personal and community development.