85 youths graduate from YouthBiz 592 programme

DPI/GUYANA, Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The atmosphere was filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment as the youths between the ages of 18-25 from Sophia Georgetown, Angoy’s Avenue and Canje in Berbice and Linden received their certificates as entrepreneurs. The graduation was held at the Umana Yana, Kingston, Georgetown.

The Department of Public Information (DPI)/Government Information Agency (GINA) spoke with some of the beaming graduates about their success.

Graduates form the YouthBiz 592 Programme. Also in photo are teachers and representatives from collaborating Ministries and Organizations

Annalisa Alfred- “I enjoyed this programme greatly. The teachers were so wonderful, if you had a problem at home you could have attend classes and speak with a counselor who will help you and that is one of the challenges that I had to overcome at home. But I made sure that I was on time for the classes. My aim apart from developing my grocery store is to share the knowledge that I would have gained because you don’t know who is looking at you on the road and opportunities are always there to be a role model”.

Orwyn Hollingsworth- “Man I feel really special, really special graduating from this programme, to hold this certificate in my hand. You guys do not know how special I feel. I would like to thank the respective Ministries for coming up with programme that is giving us another chance”.

Korseen Alfred- “The journey for me was a wonderful one. I learned so much in terms of skills and myself because I was not a people person, well at least I thought so but through this programme it showed that I am actually a people person. I am grateful for this course and I am working to open a large business”.

Vvorn Amsterdam- “I am going to be an electrical engineer and I am going to develop my own business and serve the people around me.

Enirque Alex- “I feel very proud of my achievements I am heading into fashion designing for all. The journey for me was a bit challenging since I am all the way from Linden so you had to make sacrifices to attend the classes but overall I made new friends and I am happy that we all succeeded”.

The aim of the YouthBiz 592 programme is to give youths a second chance, who have been abused, school drop outs and teenage mothers among others, out of possible negative activities while teaching and guiding them into entrepreneurial activities.

The pilot programme was a collaboration among the Ministries of Public Security, Education, the Small Business Bureau (SBB) which falls under the purview of the Ministry of Business, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) which funded the programme, along with YouthBuild USA Incorporated.

The Ministry of Public Security with YouthBuild USA Incorporated which is the lead expert for the project on entrepreneurship training signed the contract for the project. The Ministry of Public Security then contracted the Small Business Bureau (SBB) to implement the programme.

Credit Guarantee Fund Manager, (SBB), Gillian Edwards’s explained that 72 business plans out of the 85 have been submitted. She highlighted that some have become operational already through partnerships.

In her remarks to the graduates Edwards stressed the need for partnerships referencing the collaboration between the Ministries and other stakeholders. She explained that the SBB offered support in this initiative through day care support and stipends for transportation because they wanted to keep encouraging the youths to attend all the sessions.

Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Bureau, Lowell Porter encouraged the graduates to dream big and pointed out to them that an entrepreneur is one who is always taking on added responsibilities. He told the graduates that hard work is important, “and success cannot happen if is not done.”

Porter also thanked the parents who were in attendance for the support in the many different forms that they would have given their child or children to make their journey a success.

Lead Specialist for YouthBiz 592- Director of Field International Operations, YouthBuild International, Laurie Bennet expressed how proud she was of the graduates and encouraged them to continue to work hard. She also made a special appeal to them to study more.

The programme, he said, was in keeping with the government’s and his Ministry of Public Security’s mandate to eliminate crime among young people, the Citizen Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP). The implementation of community-based preventive and restorative strategies is a core component of the CSSP.

The CSSP aims to reduce crime and violence in targeted communities through: (i) strengthening the participation of residents, agencies, and businesses in community decision-making; (ii) building community leadership in violence prevention; (iii) promoting community cohesion; (iv) improving well-being and socio-economic conditions; (v) influencing the implementation of effective public policies that address risk factors associated with crime and violence; and (vi)  promoting recognition of the strengths and capacities of Guyanese communities and groups in preventing violence.

 

By: Gabreila Patram

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