Another 2000 youths to benefit from the second phase of HEYS programme
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Another 2000 youths from 100 Hinterland villages will benefit from the implementation of the second phase of the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) programme. Phase Two of the programme was launched at the Sophia Exhibition Centre, today.
During his remarks, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock reflected on the lessons learnt from the Phase One implementation of the programme. He said that while there were some challenges, the ministry is proud of the outcomes. “We made some learning curve missteps… we clearly did not get it all right on the administrative and accounting side the first time, but this is something that we can now correct,” the Minister said.
“However, on the programme side, which deals with outcomes, we were very effective and we can today celebrate, the fact that our Indigenous youths benefitted from this programme and they are, living testimonies of its positive outcome,” Minister Allicock added.
The Indigenous Affairs Minister, lauded the programme, as one of the “most encouraging investments” rolled out by the government in the Hinterland. “ The country can now boast of having young, skilled and enlightened, entrepreneurs, in our Indigenous villages, something that we could not do two years ago, Minister Allicock said.
The HEYS programme was inspired by President David Granger’s vision for chartering a course of sustainable livelihoods for Hinterland and Indigenous youths. His Excellency placed much emphasis on the HEYS in his Ten-point plan for bringing development in the Hinterland on par with those occurring on the coastland.
Minister Allicock noted that, in spite of the criticisms and setbacks, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs was able
to deliver and bring life to the President’s vision.
Minister Valerie Garrido-Lowe, who has direct responsibility for HEYS, said that she is proud of the programme. “Throughout the hinterland, we see the great outcome of the programme, young people now have their own fuel depots and catering services. They are farming, rearing chickens and much more,” Minister Garrido Lowe said.
She highlighted that the programme is on track with its intention of creating a core of youths who have the skills necessary to better manage their community resources.
Under the first phase of the implementation of HEYS, 2000 youths were trained. Eighty (80) percent of these youths now own their own businesses.
Natucha Harris is one of the Phase One beneficiaries of the HEYS programme. The 17-year old from Kabubakuri, Region Two, shared with the Department of Public Information (DPI) how the programme changed her life.
Harris is the sole breadwinner of her single parent family, told the Department of Public Information(DPI), that using the skills she had acquired and $120,000 saved in addition to a$50,000 grant, she has established her own business.
Today, she is a successful entrepreneur. She rears chickens using her agriculture skills, and bake bread, cakes and pastries using her catering skills to sell to residents in her community and surrounding areas.
By: Synieka Thorne