The Caribbean Voice Inc. (TCV), is a New York registered not-for profit NGO. Its mission is to encompass and reflect the many and varied sub groups – national, ethnic, cultural and linguistic - of the Caribbean world and to offer/facilitate a range of needed services:
The underlying objective is to enable a forum and an avenue for people of Caribbean descent in the Diaspora to maintain connections with their roots while they manifest self-identity wherever they live, as well as to connect with and work to empower the people of the Caribbean.
Against this background we will ensure that, as a segment of the Multicultural Diaspora, we strive for visibility, impact and empowerment, while we move forward as one community, rather than disparate and fractured elements, maintaining our roots, our identity and our connections with the Caribbean.
Simultaneously, The Caribbean Voice will strive to improve the mental and physical health and wellbeing of Caribbeans in general, especially by focusing on suicide, abuse, alcoholism and related issues, through a holistic, integrated approach aimed at education, prevention and empowerment. This objective will be accomplished always in collaboration with various entities, organizations and individuals - governmental, non-governmental, public and private - from both the Caribbean Region and the Diaspora, using a range of platforms, strategies and interventions. And in this process activism will also extend to violence as a whole since not only is suicide violence against the self but suicide is inextricably linked to other manifestations of violence.
A group of Guyanese, who were concerned about the high rate of suicide in Guyana and other Caribbean nations, and among Caribbeans in the Diaspora, established The Suicide Epidemic Facebook Group in June 2014. Ensuing discussions led to the launch of a suicide prevention program, through The Caribbean Voice (TCV), a New York State registered NGO, established in 1997, to focus on social activism and overall enhancement of the welfare of Caribbeans in the Caribbean Region and the Diaspora.
Given that 2014 World Health Organization statistics revealed that in 2012 Guyana had the highest suicide rate globally, that nation was selected as the insertion point for our mission in the Caribbean. Initial research, and analyses of a plethora of related content, led to a significant understanding about the realities of suicide, including pervasive myths and misinformation and a fatalistic attitude. Consequently, a letter writing campaign to the Guyana media ensued, along with a press release to more than 300 international media entities, including the New York City's Daily News Newspaper, as well as many Diaspora publications.
Meanwhile, a Guyana core group was established, to ensure that activism would be ongoing, holistic and national and we crafted five pillars towards a Zero Suicide Approach to create Suicide Free Communities across Guyana.
Five Pillars of a Zero Suicide Approach
While initial focus was on suicide prevention per se, activism was quickly extended to encompass extended to encompass violence as a whole, given that research and empirical and anecdotal evidence showed a correlation between suicide (violence against self) and other conflict-incidences; namely, alcoholism, drugs, rape, incest, teenage pregnancy, inter personal violence, domestic violence and child abuse;
The Caribbean Voice (TCV) is a New York State registered Non Government Organization (NGO) and Not-For-Profit with the following structure:
The Leadership team, comprising the President and First and Second Vice Presidents, manages the overall operations of TCV, while The Board of Directors, comprising eminent individuals from Guyana and the Diaspora and the Team of Spokespersons, a group of music stars and media personalities, support in any and every way they can. The Counseling Intervention Team comprises psychologists and clinical counselors who provide pro bono counseling while the Advisory Support Group is a set of prominent individuals from Guyana and the Diaspora, who support our work in whatever ways they can without subscribing to membership.
Initially focused on the Caribbean Diaspora in North America1, TCV has expanded its activism to Guyana, with plans to also be established in other Caribbean nations2. The Guyana (Team Guyana) group structure is as follows:
The Leadership Team comprises the National, Deputy National Coordinators, Media, Education and Training Coordinators. The Deputy National and Training Coordinators double up as Youth Liaisons. The National Oversight Committee includes the leadership team, along with all the Regional Coordinators and Guyana based members of the Board of Directors. This committee meets annually to take stock, evaluate, and chart plans and expectations for the upcoming year. The Awards Management & Business Outreach Committee organizes the Annual El Dorado Awards3 and engages in outreach to businesses to build support for our work while the Planning and Training Committee plans all activities as well as the content of all training programs, including capacity building for all members of TCV. These committees meet as necessary.
The Youth Committee comprises the Youth Liaisons, along with a youth representative from each regional sub group. It coordinates the youth segment of TCV members to provide motivation for participation in the work of the organization, to address issues they may face and to provide needed assistance. This committee also meets annually.
The Media Committee coordinates our media outreach and ensures that this is ongoing. Coordination is done via social media, emails, texting and phone calls.
As well there are regional sub groups4, each headed by a coordinator. Currently, there are seven regional sub groups operating in six regions. Our plan is have sub groups in all ten administrative regions by the end of 2018, and where necessary, more than one subgroup as currently exists in Region Four, where we have two sub groups. With support from the Leadership team, sub groups plan and execute events and activities, within their sub region/region as well as engage in fund raising to be able to financially underwrite events and activities and in membership drives and capacity building so our work can be extensive, expansive and ongoing.
President: Annan Boodram, New York City based educator, social activist and media personnel;
First Vice-President: Dr. Franklin Rodney: New York City based counselor, pastor and educator;
Second Vice-President: Shanaz Hussain: New York City based TV producer and host, community and social activist and entertainment star;
Consultant: Dr. Christopher Johnson: UK Business Management Consultant & Director (Policy Strategy) Global Enterprise Development Services Ltd
Pandit Amintnarine Rabindradat: New Jersey based Hindu priest;
Pastor Kwesi Oginga: Silver Spring, Maryland based pastor and author;
Hiram Kenneth Rampersaud: New York City based medical nurse.
Andrew Joseph aka Mc Drew P: Canada based radio personality.
Board of Directors:
Regan R. Persaud: New York City (US) based businessman and social entrepreneur
Dr. Shamir Ally: Social activist, academic, author and diplomat
Dr. Dawn Stewart: Guyana based social activist and entrepreneur
Dr. Rohan Somar: New Jersey (US) based physician, CEO and social entrepreneur
Mohammed Harun: New York City (US) based executive
Dr. Frank Anthony: Guyana based medical doctor, community and social activist.
Sham Tilak: Florida (US) based social/cultural activist and entrepreneur.
Sixtus Edwards: Guyana based clinical psychologist and business executive
Leslyn Holder: Guyana based nurse, health care executive and social activist
Imaam Baksh: Guyana based business executive and social entrepreneur
Rohan Singh: Guyana based author, social and cultural activist
Diana Shields: Guyana based socialite
Harry Shivdat: Switzerland based corporate executive.
Nazim Hussain: National Coordinating Director
Keshnie (Chandanie Roplall): Deputy National Coordinator
Leslyn Holder: Training Director
Ibimina Ibi-Mina Edwards: Education Coordinator
Keshnie (Chandanie Roplall) & Ibimina Ibi-Mina Edwards: Youth Liaisons
Sunaina Boodhoo: Social Media Liaison
Ashley Scotland: Communication Liaison
Region Two Sub-Group:
Feona Sukdeo: Coordinator
Rajkumar Khemraj: Deputy Coordinator
Region Three Sub-Group:
Narda Hussain: Region Three Coordinator
Kamene Seepaul: Member
Region Four Sub-Group:
Lothoya C. Mc Kenzie: East Coast Demerara Coordinator
Dan Ali: East Bank Demerara Coordinator
Ibimina Edwards: Deputy East Bank Demerara Coordinator
Region Five Sub-Group:
Geeta Rampersaud: Coordinator
Region Six Sub-Group:
Mahendra Phagwah: New Amsterdam, Canje, East Bank Berbice Coordinator
Region Ten Sub-Group:
Leroy Adolph: Coordinator
Kamene Seepaul, Samantha Ross, Surendra Bipah, Rovin A. Sukhraj, Carol Ann Lovell, Ariel Ferreria, Yaquelin Gonzalez Ricardo
Counseling & Intervention Team:
Devv-Daniel Ramdass: Surrey, England based counselor
Banmattie Jean Ram: New York City based counselor and pastor.
Dr. Franklin Rodney: Pastor and counselor based in New York City
Sixtus Edwards: Counselor based in Guyana
Dr. Dawn Stewart: Counselor based in Guyana
Debra Murray: Guyana based counselor
Shirvington Hannays: Canada based addictions counselor and behavioral change coach
Andrew Joseph: Canada based youth counselor
Planning & Training Committee:
Nazim Hussain, Leslyn Holder, Rohan Singh, Diana Shields, Ibi Edwards, Sixtus Edwards, Dan Ali, Bibi Shadick, Dr. Frank Anthony, Keshnie Rooplall, Lothoya McKenzie, Narda Hussain, Surenbdra Bipiah, Sunanina Boodhoo, Ashley Scotland, Kamene Budhoo, Ganesh Persaud.
Shanaz Hussain, Linda Singh, Ravi D. Mohan, Dhanwantrie Persaud, Nazim Hussain, Roger Hinds, WR Reaz, Ashley Scotland.
Chairman: Sham Tilak
Members: Shanaz Hussain, Satish Udairam, Annan Boodram, Jah Dover, Nazim Hussain
Advisory Support Group:
Raheema Rahaman: social activist, Secretary of the Shaheed Boys’ Orphanage
Pastor John Joseph: executive of the Seventh Days Adventist Church in Guyana
Gokarran Sukhdeo; NYC based educator, community activist and writer
Dr. Alissa Trotz: Canada based academic, university professor and writer
Nadira Singh-Jagan: New York City based attorney
Allison Butters-Grant: Guyana based entrepreneur
Rakesh Rampertab: New York based legal advisor
Pt. Deodat Persaud: Guyana based youth, cultural and social activist and Hindu Priest.
Christena Lallchan: Guyana based media personality
Dhanwantrie Persaud: Guyana based media personality
Terry Gajraj: US based singer popularly dubbed the chutney king
Roger Hinds: Guyana based singing star
Satish Udairam: Florida based singing star
WR Reaz: Guyana based media & entertainment guru, emcee, social activist, racing car driver
Bunty Singh: Guyana based singing star and 2016 Chutney king
Ravi D. Mohan: Guyana based singer, media personality, music producer
Jah G. Dover: California based author, rapper, entrepreneur, academic…
Natty Ramoutar: Singing star and media personality based in Florida
Linda Singh: New York City based TV host
Latchmee Singh: New York City based TV host, social and cultural activist and entertainment star