Defying the odds

─Nadeza Rodrigues runs thriving HEYS business despite disability

Nadeza Rodrigues an entrepreneur and beneficiary of the Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) movement operates a thriving business establishment that meets the needs of residents of Karawab Village, located more than sixty miles up the Pomeroon River, Region 2.

Rodrigues who is differently-abled is the proud owner of a snackette that also sells a variety of locally made, delicious dishes, snacks and beverages.

Despite speech and hearing impediments, Rodrigues does not let the challenges of being differently-abled deter her from enhancing her vocational skills and continues to be a positive influence in her community, making her a force to be reckoned with.

Close friends of the young woman also commended her culinary skills as they pointed her exceptional chicken curry and roti, which they described as her best dish.

They believe too that her ability to operate in the kitchen speaks volumes of her determination to not allow her physical challenges daunt her from living a normal life.

In addition to her culinary skills, Nadeza who is married and the mother of a twelve-year-old son also has a passion for embroidery and garment construction, which has ensured an additional income for the family.

When the HEYS programme was introduced in 2016 by the Coalition Government, Rodrigues was among more than 3,000 youths between the ages of 16 and 35 to grasp the opportunity to be trained in several vocational skills while also receiving formal training in core areas. Today, many of them operate successful businesses in all ten administrative regions.

In Karawab alone, twenty youths benefited from the initiative.

Like Nadeza, more life-changing testimonies can be seen nationally, which has positively influenced the target group – youths; as the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and the Government, continues to deliver its mandate to the indigenous people, through well planned and executed programs and initiatives.

To date, the Government has successfully concluded two cohorts, with plans in place for the execution of a third in 2020, which targets another 4,000 youths.

This will bring the number of young Indigenous Guyanese exposed to this life-changing initiative to more than five thousand, a marked achievement under the Coalition Government.

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