Educating abused, neglected children at Sophia Care Center

Director of Sophia Care Center, Roxanne Blenman, (left) holding one of the laptops donated by New York-based, Electrical Engineer Ryan “Blessingz ” Belgrave. Volunteer, Kay Ramdat, holds the other educational device, alongside Etiquette Consultant, Phillipa Morrish, who inspired the residents with a motivational talk.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Roxanne Blenman’s 13-year service as director of Sophia Care Center, a home for neglected, underprivileged children and young adults who are loved, and educated away from abusive homes in parts of Georgetown, Guyana, has been fulfilling.

Located on Dennis Street, in the Sophia Complex since 2006, the two-level building, that houses girls on the top level, and boys on the bottom, receives donations from individuals and organizations, and at a recent Christmas event, was fortunate to be gifted two laptops, thanks to New York-based Electrical Engineer, Ryan “Blessingz” Belgrave, who entrusted this reporter to hand over the educational devices.

Caribbean Life was told, during a Christmas visit, that all 52 children currently being housed at the facility, attend school, from primary level, up and as such, the gift of laptops will assist them in completing homework, and twice weekly online schooling due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Along with my ardent staff, we provide the best services, and care for the children, in a special way,” said Mrs. Blenman.

“These are children who suffered abuse, neglect, and abandonment. It is always good when people talk to them, and understand what they go through, said Mrs. Blenman, who thanked the Ministry of Social Protection for providing services in every aspect, making the children comfortable, away from home.

The program allows under special circumstances for children to return home, after an assessment is made. Safety is of utmost importance, but according to her many of the children return to the program after leaving to reunite with parents. Others, however, outgrow the program, when they meet age 21.

This reporter who makes annual visits to the home, to donate clothing, books, educational toys, and share cheers and treats, added an educational aspect to engage the students, by inviting Etiquette Consultant Phillipa Morrish, who gave a motivational talk, and captured the children’s attention, so much so, that they invited her to return to teach them etiquette.

For this, Mrs. Blenman thanked the group that included Kay Ramdat, who helped in handing out the gifts.

She said the Christmas season, is always a fun time for the young residents, who due to the coronavirus, were limited to in-house, activities. Before the pandemic, the children were allowed to visit homes of Guyanese who wanted to entertain them.

She added that Director of the Childcare and Protection Agency, Ms. Anne Greene looks after the well being of children, and thanked this reporter, a humanitarian, and others for the goodies shared, during the season, and wished everyone good will.

“The computers will be utilized well, because of the online school program, for the other children, especially the teens, as we prepare them for the next phase of life. We focus on academic excellence. Our social skills are what takes us through, in every level of society,” shared the director.

Additionally, there is recreational activity, such as dancing, life skills training, and sports including football, cricket, and karate that keep the children engaged.