CAP launched in Region Six – some 20 as community advocates
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, November 14, 2017
In an effort to strengthen the community’s response to social issues in Guyana, some twenty (20), Region Six stakeholders are being trained as advocates under the Ministry of Social Protection’s Community Advocacy Programme (CAP).
The training programme was officially launched on Tuesday, at the St. Francis Community Development Centre, Rose Hall Town, East Berbice Corentyne.
Among the topics to be covered over the next four days are, children and family welfare, gender equality and social inclusion, sexual offenses and domestic violence, social security, Trafficking in Persons (TIP), labour and occupational health and safety and the importance of cooperatives.
CAP was established by the ministry, through the Department of Social Services, after it was recognised that there was an increase in demand for scarce resources, and the need to improve the national response to address social issues in Guyana.
The programme will see the empowerment of approximately 200 paraprofessionals and community support workers annually selected across the ten administrative regions.
During brief remarks, Hymawattie Lagan, Senior Gender Affairs Officer explained that the programme seeks to build a network of advocates countrywide, to strengthen the communities’ response to social issues. It will also empower and equip communities through the acquisition of knowledge and coping skills, and to improve the quality of life of the vulnerable groups (inclusive of women and girls) by providing access to social support and other forms of community resources.
Lagan added that each community will be assigned a unit of advocates who will work closely with the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, linking them with resources that would have otherwise been unavailable or inaccessible. Community advocates will also function as the link between the community and the ministry and other key networks.
Lagan commended the participants for recognising the importance of the training programme. She encouraged them to make full use of the training being provided so that they can make a difference in their respective communities.
Upon completion of the training component of CAP, the community advocates will be responsible for gathering information regarding the needs and vulnerabilities of community residents.
Advocates will also be responsible for engaging in active and pro-active sensitisation and public education in the communities, to ensure residents are aware of the services and assistance programmes that are offered by the Social Protection Ministry and other government agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
The first training programme was conducted in Lethem, Region Nine.
By: Synieka Thorne
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