First batch of hinterland women graduate from maritime training through First Lady’s scholarship programme
Approximately 20 women from various communities in Region One, on Saturday received their certificates of completion from the Atlantic Alliance Maritime and Onshore Training Institute.
This is credited to a joint scholarship programme piloted by the Office of the First Lady, which positions women in indigenous communities to benefit from the oil and gas sector through technical training in the maritime sector and offshore industry.
Last year, the First Lady secured 100 scholarships for Indigenous women in the hinterland to be trained through the Atlantic Alliance Maritime and Onshore Training Institute. The school’s courses are accredited by Guyana’s Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) and the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ).
The young women were instructed in areas of Ship Security Awareness.
First Lady, Arya Ali, who delivered the feature address at the graduation ceremony, urged the graduates to serve as agents of change in efforts to foster gender equality.
“I also urge you to try to create the type of society you want to live in. Exist in a way that could change society radically. It is very important that we provide you with these opportunities which allow you to maximise your potential in every aspect of your life,” she urged.
Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag, outlined that this programme and the resulting benefits are representations of the PPP/C Government championing the cause of gender equality.
She said, “The First Lady is here giving the opportunity not just to women, but bridging a gap in Guyana where accessibility and availability of opportunities are being made to our hinterland people.”
The minister noted that this improved access to education and the facilitation of integration of women into previously male-dominated fields are mere facets of Guyana’s transformational trajectory.
Last year, the World Economic Forum reported an 18-place hike for Guyana on the Global Gender Gap Index, moving from 53rd in 2021 to 35th among 146 countries. In the area of economic participation and opportunity, Guyana moved from the 105th rank to 53rd in the space of one year.
In the same period, the country moved from 91st to 57th in educational attainment. This is just another tenet of the PPP/C Administration’s commitment to the economic empowerment of women.
The Department of Public Information spoke with a few of the graduates, who chronicled the riveting training experience, calling it a ‘great opportunity’.
One such graduate was Feona Solomon, who expressed that the training tested her limits. She said, “It was a great experience, I am grateful for this opportunity. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I want to thank the First Lady for this initiative, and I would love to see other young women get onboard.”
Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Invest, Dr Peter Ramsaroop, and Director of GOAL, Jacob Opadeyi were also in attendance.