The Power to Make a Difference History


Republic Bank believes that every human being is important and has a valuable contribution to make to his environment, as well as, to the national community. This belief, was the inspiration for our ground-breaking social investment programme the —Power to Make a Difference —which was introduced in 2004. The programme is the Bank’s vehicle for encouraging positive change in our society, and is built upon four pillars—The Power to Care, The Power to Help, The Power to Learn and The Power to Succeed.

The Power to Make a Difference programme aims to enhance the quality of life of disadvantaged persons; support healthcare programmes and disability awareness initiatives; provide opportunities for young people to realise their truest potential through sport, education and the arts; build community spirit and, in essence, help to correct some of society’s ills. This one programme has provided a model for corporate social responsibility in Guyana and indeed in the wider English-speaking Caribbean. 

The Power to Make a Difference programme is administered in five-year horizons and 2013 will mark the penultimate year of the second five year phase which commenced in October, 2009.  Over the programme’s 9 year existence, resilient bonds were formed with many charitable organisations. Communities were transformed and the potential of thousands of young people was unlocked and unleashed.  

Our focus on differently-abled persons in 2009 shone the national spotlight on this previously neglected group.  Focus was placed on physical disabilities, greater energy was expended on “hidden disabilities” particularly those that affect learning, such as Dyslexia, Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. We also focused on the provision of physical facilities for differently-abled persons, as well as training opportunities for them to assist in their adaptation and general education and awareness of their special needs. These were targeted at the mainstream population to generate enhanced levels of understanding, tolerance and acceptance. 

The Differently-Abled
From 2009 therefore, our projects included affording the Youth Link Apprentices the opportunity to provide community service to institutions that care for persons with disability and the elderly along with the purchase of a reconditioned minibus to transport the disabled programme participants for the Guyana Community Based Rehabilitation Programme.  Included in this sponsorship as well is the provision of annual insurance and maintenance along with monthly subsidies for driver’s salary and fuel.

In seeking to mitigate the stigma attached to persons with disabilities, we developed a partnership with the Step by Step Foundation for Autistic Children providing tuition for one of the school’s students, remuneration for a tutor and facilitation of a thrice yearly visit by a specialised medical practitioner. 

Educating and Inspiring a Nation
The Bank’s focus on the development of young people through education and the arts has continued apace, with the maintenance of the University of Guyana Scholarship and Business Journals Subscription; University of Guyana Awards and the Ministry of Education Awards.

In 2009, Republic Bank assumed the role of title sponsor of the Republic Bank Mashramani Panorama Steel Band Competition, firmly asserting our role as a staunch supporter of national culture.  Not limiting the support to Mashramani, we partnered with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport to host the annual Republic Bank Pan Minors Music Literacy Programme and with the National Art Gallery - Castellani House to host the biennial National Drawing Competition for young artists across the length and breadth of the country.  Our maintenance of the Promenade Gardens continues to afford visitors the opportunity of a refreshing space for relaxation and events. Our national heritage, in the form of our history and culture, are therefore important components of the Power to Make a Difference programme. 

Steadfast Resolve
Nine years later, Republic Bank is more convinced than ever before, that as an organisation and as individuals, we have the Power to Make a Difference in the lives of our fellowmen.  Every journey begins with a single step, and through our Staff Volunteerism programme, Republic Bank’s staff have now joined this powerful movement to help, to care, to teach and to move others onto the road to success.  Nine years and an investment of $106.5 million later, small remote communities are growing, critically ill children are getting a new lease on life, mothers are becoming self sufficient through literacy, young people are learning that there are viable alternatives to guns and violence – and those alternatives lie in embracing their sporting talents, immersing themselves in our cultural heritage and grasping the opportunities for education that are available to them.  There is much left to be done, but with our committed staff and selfless NGO and CBO partners, we shall continue this thrust in the interest of building a better Guyana.

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