Guyanese icon Terry Gajraj’s lifelong commitment to community service – Carib Vibe Radio

Guyanese icon Terry Gajraj’s lifelong commitment to community service

Terry Gajraj, known to many as “Guyana Babu,” has not only made waves in the music industry but has also quietly been making a significant impact through his charitable work. In a recent interview with Caribbean Life, Gajraj shared insights into his decades-long commitment to community service and his connection to the Safe Abee Foundation for Children in Guyana.

Since his move to New York in 1986, Gajraj’s life has been a testament to the power of philanthropy. Guided by the teachings of his grandparents and parents, he learned early on the importance of giving back. His journey began in his homeland, Guyana, where he taught music and aided those in need. This personal connection to his philanthropic work has been a driving force in his life.

Reflecting on his upbringing, Gajraj highlighted the kindness and generosity of his family, recounting instances where his parents selflessly helped others, even when resources were scarce. These early experiences instilled in him a deep sense of compassion and a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

“We’ve been doing community work all my life; that’s how my grandparents taught us to be givers. My dad was a schoolteacher affiliated with the mandir. We played a very instrumental part in helping our brothers and sisters in our community…my mom was very charitable,” he said.

Gajraj’s commitment to community service extends beyond his contributions. He actively encourages others to get involved and lend a helping hand. He emphasizes the importance of giving monetary donations and one’s time and skills, emphasizing the transformative power of education and empowerment.

Terry Gajraj with beneficiaries of the Save Abee Foundation computer class. Photo courtesy Terry Gajraj

In 2010, Gajraj teamed up with Safe Abee Foundation for Children with a mission to provide educational opportunities, skills training, and support to underprivileged children in Guyana. The foundation’s flagship project, a school in Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice, offers students free computer education, math and English tutoring, and vocational training, empowering them with valuable skills for the future.

“The impact of the Safe Abee School extends far beyond its walls. Many students have secured jobs with reputable companies in Guyana thanks to the skills they gained. We firmly believe in the proverb “teach a man to fish,” emphasizing the importance of imparting lasting skills rather than temporary assistance. Our commitment to empowerment is evident in our ongoing efforts, including sending barrels of aid, conducting annual medical outreaches, and organizing Christmas parties for orphans in Guyana. Our charitable initiatives have evolved, initially focusing on individual efforts before expanding to broader community support,” Gadraj noted.

Save Abee School in Cotton Tree West Berbice. Photo by Terry Gajraj

Gajraj’s dedication to philanthropy has garnered recognition from local and international organizations. Last year, Starbucks donated to the Safe Abee Foundation, acknowledging the impactful work done to uplift Guyana communities.

Looking ahead, Gajraj and the Safe Abee Foundation have ambitious plans to further their impact. They aim to host annual events, medical outreaches, and Christmas parties for orphaned children in Guyana. These initiatives are about providing immediate relief and creating lasting change. Gajraj’s vision is clear-he wants to inspire a generation of philanthropists who will continue the work long after he is gone.

Terry Gajraj performing at their annual Christmas party for children of Save Abee School. Photo courtesy Terry Gajraj

As Gajraj prepares to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his hit song “Guyana Babu,” he remains steadfast in his belief that giving back is not just a responsibility but a privilege. Through his unwavering dedication to serving others, Terry Gajraj continues to embody the true spirit of compassion and generosity, inspiring others to follow in his footsteps and make a difference in the world.

“It’s very, very humbling when you’re able to help others, and I want people to understand that it’s the little things that matter and your intention when doing something for someone…you don’t have to have money alone to make a difference in someone’s life,” he noted.

Gajraj’s dedication to developing arts, culture, and education will be showcased in a historic pop-up fashion exhibit at the International Museum of The Saree from May 9 to July 18, 2024. For more details on this exhibit, visit the museum’s Instagram @internationalmuseumofthesaree.

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