An inspiration to Indigenous girls

— Guyana’s first Indigenous Minister of State leading by example

DPI, Guyana, Monday, September 2, 2019

Minister of State, Hon. Dawn Hastings Williams has expressed the hope that she can inspire more Indigenous girls to dream big and achieve their goals.

Guyana’s first Indigenous Minister of State sees herself as an inspiration to young Indigenous girls.

“Someone they can look up to…they can say ‘if Miss Dawn could have made it, so can I!’ Some girls hope to be parliamentarians. They want to be a minster. They want to be the president… They now recognising what they can do for their communities”.

Appearing as a guest on the National Communications Network (NCN) Vbyz 100.1 FM, the minister noted that as a child growing up in Kako, Region 7, girls most often aspired to become teachers or nurses.

A member of the Akawaio nation, Minister Hastings-Williams initially dreamt of becoming a paediatrician, as she recognised the need for a full-time doctor in her village. Something that has been realised under this Coalition Government.

Her next choice was that of a lawyer. However, following the death of her mother, the minister was forced to leave school at the Fourth Form level. She opted to take up teaching at age 17. This saw her studying at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE,) where she obtained a Certificate in Education (Primary), before attending the University of Guyana where she graduated with a Bachelor in Education Administration. After a spell as a Headteacher Minister Hastings-Williams entered into the political arena.

Her foray into politics began by attending village meetings. It was there that, Minister Hastings-Williams said she recognised the need for education, health and land issues to be addressed. These, she noted, are high on the Coalition’s hinterland agenda.

The minister noted that whilst the nation has started to move in the right direction, there’s much more to be done, as the push for equal opportunities continue. She cited the fact that Hinterland and Public Sector Ministry scholarships expanded under the Coalition Government. Also, the fact that one of the recent top CSEC performers was a hinterland student, she explained, was an example of what hinterland youths could achieve when given the opportunity.

“They have demonstrated that if given that equal opportunity, that push, that encouragement, they can perform like anybody else.”

The push to ensure equal opportunities continues with the opening of two Upper Mazaruni primary schools later this week, in Parima and Kamarang. Later this year, other schools will be opened at Imbaimadai and Kako.

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