Block- making training workshop begins for vulnerable groups

Twelve (12) visually impaired persons will benefit from two days of training in block making and money management, under the Community-Based Employment Stimulated Project (CBESP), a programme initiated by President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali in May.

The programme was launched to provide vulnerable communities with economic opportunities, and would later extend to upskill vulnerable persons with disabilities.

Minister of Tourism, Oneidge Walrond, Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, Chief Executive Officer of CH&PA, Sherwyn Greaves and Programme Coordinator of Guyana Council of Organisation for Persons with Disabilities, Ganesh Singh, during the ribbon cutting

On Wednesday, the certified training programme was launched through a collaboration between the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) and Guyana National Bureau of Standards, at the Guyana Society for the Blind Headquarters.

Minister of Tourism, Oneidge Walrond, MP, who attended the ceremony said the trainees can develop skills to meet market demands.

“This particular event starting today, clearly demonstrates that physical challenges do not have to be barriers to a successful life, it also demonstrates the commitment of our administration to the concept of a warm Guyana with a better quality of life for all Guyanese. We believe that no Guyanese should be disadvantaged regardless of race, creed, social status or indeed as we see today, physical abilities.”

Ministers and trainees at the Guyana Society for the Blind Headquarters

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, MP, reassured attendees that the government will continue its campaign to support and provide further opportunities for persons with disabilities.

“Your participation in this activity will allow those who are willing to make the commitment to become exposed to the world of work  ,of course in a more structured manner to become entrepreneurs yourselves, better provide for your families and ultimately have an improved quality of life. I want to remind you that your government is fully committed to the improvement of the living conditions for persons with special needs through better facilities, services and job opportunities.”

Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, reiterated Government’s commitment to providing opportunities for vulnerable persons. She also stated the important role they play in the country’s development. 

“Persons living with disability have a unique set of talents and skills to contribute towards the development of our country and towards their own personal upliftment and we want to be able to help them and to provide as many opportunities as we can to help them succeed.”

The project which is tailored to the needs of persons in vulnerable communities will create employment for approximately 400 persons. Through the CH&PA, participants will also gain employment to provide blocks for some 1,000 houses.

Cecil Morris, a participant in the CH&PA Block making training workshop

Blocks made through the programme will be tested by GNBS to ensure they meet standard specifications and quality.

DPI spoke with several trainees who expressed their excitement for the opportunity to learn a new skill. Cecil Morris, a senior citizen participating in the workshop said the training will provide him with a skill to earn a livelihood.

“Well, as a blind person that has been blind for many years, any training that I have been receiving over the years, including this one, I feel very excited about it because it is making me as a person with a disability much more equipped to deal with the everyday runnings of life to make me marketable. If I should leave and go somewhere else there is a skill that I have that I can exercise and do something to earn me a living,” he related.

Musa Hornes, a participant in the CH&PA Block making training workshop

Twenty-five-year-old Musa Hornes said, “I think it is a good initiative of the government. I am hoping for the success of it. It will benefit me in terms of financially, it will provide me with an opportunity to earn for myself and I am sure others will benefit in the same way as well.”

Additionally, CH&PA donated a work shed valued at $900,000 to facilitate trainees.

CH&PA is expected to train another batch of 19 persons with various disabilities, tailored to their needs, in the new month.