$1.47B spent on CSOs programme in 2023

In 2023, the government through the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs spent close to $1.47 billion on the Community Service Officers (CSOs) programme, which falls within the ambit of the Youth Entrepreneurial and Apprenticeship Programme (YEAP).

This was disclosed by Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai during her end-of-year press conference on Tuesday, at the ministry’s Quamina Street, Georgetown office.

Some of the Community Service Officers from Region Nine and representatives from various governmental organisations

Minister Sukhai explained that 52.7 per cent of the sum was used to pay stipends, explaining that the CSOs are actively providing significant support in the development of their villages.

Additionally, the service officers are allowed to advance their skills in various areas, through several trainings being provided by the ministry. Of the 402 CSOs trained, 181 were males and 221 were females.

Training was even done through agencies such as the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) and the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA).

“We trained quite a few CSOs…both males and females. And, we have trained a total of 137 in garment construction, small engine repairs 130, tourism and hospitality 62, and tractor operation and maintenance 73,” the minister disclosed.

She further expressed her contentment with some of the women undergoing the various heavy-duty training, and being open to work in non-traditional areas in their communities.

Due to these courses, some of the CSOs have even opened up small businesses, making additional income for themselves and providing good services to residents in the villages.