HEYS Businesses in Deep South Rupununi receive a significant boost

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe on Sunday handed over Resource Kits for the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) programme, to participants in Shea, Awaraunau and Maruranau during a Ministerial outreach in Region Nine.

The participants said that they are excited to have received the resource kits as this will significantly boost their various businesses which were established under the Youth programme.

The respective villages will also benefit since the use of the kits will be shared with the Village Councils.

Minister Garrido-Lowe said the Government is faithfully keeping its promise to the Indigenous peoples and more so the youth, in ensuring they are empowered enough to provide for themselves and their families.

Minister Garrido-Lowe said “this is the APNU+AFC Government showing you how much we care for our Indigenous peoples. It is our duty, if we care for our people, to build the capacity of our youth… to give them the knowledge and skills in different areas. HEYS youths were trained in different areas – building self-esteem, anger management, a little Math and English, business/budgeting, eco-tourism, agriculture and at least two vocational skills; these skills include garment construction, carpentry and joinery, masonry, catering, information technology, small engine repairs and electrical installation. This means that you can earn money with the skills you have gained; you will be able to raise your standard of living and that of your family’s, and the entire community will benefit in the end. And this is what the APNU+AFC Government is all about – ensuring that our indigenous people receive the opportunities that you deserve so that you too will have a chance to enjoy the good life”.

The Minister added that “we have made sure we have touched 215 villages catering for twenty youths in each village, providing thirty thousand dollars per month to assist them while they learn various skills including how to operate and manage a business, how to identify business opportunities in your villages and how they can be successful. Instead of depending on their parents to clothe and feed them the business is there to take care of that.”

To date, the HEYS programme has achieved its desired outcome and participants have been vocal about the positive impact it continues to make in their lives.

Daniel Charlie of Maruranau said, “I am involved in pig rearing, that is what I started off with and now I have eleven pigs and early next year I will have more.” Sylvin Robison who is also into pig rearing said: “I have three mother pigs and they are ready to drop and so I expect to have plenty more”.

Other participants are involved in joinery, gardening, poultry rearing and operating snackettes which are positively contributing to their lives and their respective village economies.

Addressing some of the challenges experienced, Minister Garrido-Lowe applauded the youth for their efforts noting that while “the economy is slow, you are still maintaining your businesses and that is a testimony to your character. The Minister noted that this positive attitude along with effort, dedication and patience will ensure the participants achieve their dreams.

Minister Garrido-Lowe also assured the participants from these villages that this year (2019), their existing businesses will also receive an additional boost of fifty thousand dollars from the Government. This grant was already approved in the National Assembly and youths will soon begin to receive their disbursements.

The Minister thanked parents and villagers for supporting the young entrepreneurs through this journey and assured that the Government will leave no stone unturned as it continues to advocate for youth development.

Over the last two years, three thousand seven hundred and ninety-five (3,795) youths in 215 villages were able to benefit from training in life skills, vocational interests and entrepreneurial skills.

The APNU+AFC Government has invested more than two billion dollars in Indigenous and hinterland youth development.

Meanwhile, Minister Garrido-Lowe also updated residents on the current political situation and assured that the Government will continue to function within the parameters of the constitution which will ensure that peace and harmony prevail.

Residents proudly shared that they were keeping abreast with the latest news since the establishment of Radio Aishalton; an initiative for which they lauded the Government.

Alethea Grant.

Communications Officer.

Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs.

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