Aishalton Women’s Group making significant strides
The Aishalton Women’s Association in Deep South, Rupununi, Region 9 continues to positively impact not only residents in the village but the Region as a whole.
Chairperson of the group Immacaulata Casimero said following a workshop hosted last April by Owen DeSouza, of DeSouza Estate Establishment, the women have capitalised on the knowledge gained.
At the time, DeSouza – a producer of organic products based in Linden – was part of a team led by Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe who was visiting the Region.
Casimero explained that DeSouza “taught us to make soap and we as a group tried it ourselves and we have made soap for our own uses; for our kitchen. We also produced some cakes of soap which we took to the Agriculture Expo in Lethem. They came out really well.”
The Chairperson added that through commitment and dedication she was able to secure 24 moulds allowing them to “produce 24 cakes at one go.”
Self-reliance is key to the Association’s success and according to the Chairperson “the Aishalton Women’s Group is now more independent. We are trying to work on our own, hold our own fund raisers since we plan to construct our own building. It’s our initiative and we want to try on our own and not depend too much on donations. However, we would also appreciate the support of the government.”
The Aishalton Women’s Association is also involved in Agro-Processing and Catering and according to Casimero, its eighteen members all benefit financially from proceeds “that’s more important for me because they don’t have jobs and they depend on that for their daily livelihoods.”
Casimero is also active in the South Rupununi District Council and is tasked with the responsibility for Women Affairs. She is optimistic that major development is well within the reach of the Indigenous peoples in the area and the women have committed to staying the course.
Meanwhile, during his visit to the village DeSouza noted that “Aishalton is a promising place with potential and it only needs the people to exploit their resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood”, which is evident seven months later.
Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs