Improving the lives of women in Black Bush Polder through Literacy, Numeracy

DPI/GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fourteen (14) women from Black Bush Polder graduated the, “Literacy and Numeracy Work Ready Programme” which is aimed at empowering lives, to contribute to the development of their communities. The programme was organised by the Office of the Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment. The Graduation was held at the Yakusari Primary School on July 01, 2017.

(From left to right) Kibwe Copeland- Youth Leader, Adeti DeJesus- Senior Research and Planning Officer, Ronald Austin Jr., Senior Education and Training Officer, Kaveita Mohabir, Trainer, Carol Mancey- Monitor Literacy and Numeracy Work Ready Programme and the graduates posting for a picture after the Graduation Ceremony.

Black Bush Polder is largely populated by Indo-Guyanese with farming being its main economic activity. In addition to the distance to get in and out; to or from schools, education or schooling was not important, since most if not all the residents will take over from their parents or grandparents on the farms.

Omawattie Rattan, Yogin Mangar Singh, Radha Persaud, Aneeza Rajpaul, Yashoda Singh, Shameza Khan, Natasha Ramkumar, Padmini Samaroo, Sunita Persaud, Anita Persaud, Beenawattie Sukhcharan, Zara Lalmahamed, Zara Lalmahamed, Farina Sugrim, Subrima Sukhcharan, Yogita Mangar Singh are the 14 graduates of the Literacy and Numeracy programme.

Kaveita Mohair is a youth activist in the community of Black Bush Polder. She is also the driving force behind the programme starting her village. A leader in her own rights, a youth activist, she said that her drive towards making a difference in her community was after she traveled abroad and realised that what she thought was normal in her everyday world, was not so.

“I went on vacation and came back and I saw the different life in New York than in Guyana. So, then I said I need to do something and then I was told about Literacy and Numeracy programme. I went and I did the training and when I came back I started (to mobolise) other women” Mohabir explained.

Kaveita Mohabir said she found it, “challenging to convince the older women that they needed schooling, because in our everyday live education is the best thing.” However, eventually she was able to convince the fourteen women and they have graduated.

“It was challenging because of the age ranges, one of my students she is 45 years old. She is the eldest I have a next student she is a mother of six (6) and she pass through a difficult situation however, I managed to get things done and have them come here, be here today, and graduate” Mohabir explained.

Kavetia noted that it was the first time some on the women attended some form of schooling or even had the chance to have a graduation.

“It was emotional for me and them, when you witness some of them were in tears. I felt good that I have moved them and

Kaveita Mohabir- Trainer giving award to oldest participant Omawattie Rattan.

I know personally that I have and I know for the next course I am getting the fourteen and plus,” Mohabir said.

Omawattie Rattan one of the students and the oldest of the fourteen said she was happy for the training since she never had the opportunity to attend school.

This programme gives the women an opportunity not only to help themselves but also play a more meaningful role in the education of their children and grandchildren since they are equipped with the necessary skills to be peer educators.

Literacy and Numeracy Work Ready Programme, “Reach One, Teach One” programme is a, ‘trainer of trainers’ programme which seeks to build capacity for a core of young people, to deliver literacy and numeracy to their peers in their communities.

Black Bush Polder in the Corentyne, East Berbice – has a population of about five thousand (5000) people. Black Bush Polder is made up of four main areas; Lesbeholden, Johanna, Mibicuri and Yakusari North and South depending on which side of the road you are located. The road stretches to a distance of 22 miles and is located about seven miles away from the public road.


By: Delon Sancho