“Failure is not an excuse” – CSSP Valedictorian Joel Primo

– 55 graduates from skills training programme

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, June 29, 2019

“My life is filled with joy, success and love,” said Joel Primo.  The Valedictorian was one of fifty-five young people who graduated from the Citizen Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP) skills training programme, held at the Sophia Training Centre on Friday.

The young man who lives in the community of Sophia graduated at the top of the plumbing and sheet metal class and received the best student in English Language award.

His achievements were as a result of hard work and overcoming numerous challenges. “During those times, I used self-motivation to encourage myself. I would repeat these refrains to myself ‘I will pass all my tests no matter the circumstance; I will make it even if I do not have money for transportation; I will walk’. My motto is ‘failure is not an excuse, so I cannot and will not fail’,” Joel shared during his valedictorian speech.

Prior to enrolling in the training programme, he occasionally provided services in and around his community. However, with the skills now acquired, Joel said “I feel like I am my own boss already. It is a great feeling and I would encourage others to go for it.”

He plans to pursue further studies in the United States to become a general engineer contractor and proceed to establish his firm.

In closing remarks, Joel encouraged other youths like himself to “build their dreams on a firm, solid ground where you cannot only be a successful man/woman but a great leader of your own company.”

Delivering the charge to the graduates, Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan noted that the CSSP training programme gives vulnerable youth the necessary skills to be self-sufficient.

“This will ensure that you are lamps to be lit… and you can shed light to others around you.”

It was pointed out by Minister Ramjattan that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funded programme is almost to an end; however, he assured of the government’s continued support for the initiative. He explained that this would be possible with revenue received from oil production invested in the programme.

Students in this batch of graduates came from various communities including North, South and West Ruimveldt, Mocha, Sophia, Haslington, Enmore and Buxton. They underwent nine months of training in various courses including Masonry, Business, Information Technology, Welding, Plumbing and Sheet Metal, Air conditioning and Refrigeration and Catering.

Under the CSSP skills training programme, 559 are in ongoing classes, and more than 300 are set to embark on courses in September. Youths in twenty communities in Regions 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 are expected to benefit.

The CSSP, which is funded by the IDB at the cost of $3Billion (US$15M), targets youths in vulnerable communities for skills training as a crime reduction strategy under component one of the three-pronged, CSSP initiative. This component also includes job-readiness training, job placement, entrepreneurship training, mentoring, counselling and psychological skills training, and literacy programmes all directed towards ensuring youths are made crime resistant.

Images Abike Barker