More opportunities for Indigenous peoples under Coalition Govt

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, June 30, 2019

Residents of St. Cuthbert’s Mission, the lone Indigenous village in Region 4, were informed about the various prospects being made available to the Indigenous peoples of Guyana by the current administration.

A ministerial team comprising Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock and Minister within the Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton and Regional Chairperson, Region 4, Genevieve Allen engaged the residents during a community meeting held at the village benab.

Minister Allicock assured the residents of the government’s commitment to developing the lives of the Indigenous people, thereby, bringing them into mainstream development.

“We are a Coalition Government and working with you… We have been listening and we are better informed because of the many wonderful ideas, proposals and guidance,” Minister Allicock pointed out.

He noted that the government has placed emphasis on youth empowerment. Through the Hinterland Employment and Youth (HEYS) programme, some 4,000 youths were trained and certified in various skilled areas, and to date, some 2,000 business has been developed.

“The plan is to continue the programme because we had some good testimonies from so many young people, a lot of them were young women, single parents…and we have seen these young women doing a great job… We are thinking of all the young people of this country, but more so, for the hinterland, because you know we have always been isolated, and now we are being exposed to real development.”

Further, the minister reminded the youths that they have the opportunity to receive training at the recently established Guyana Youth Core at the Kuru Kuru Training Centre (KKTC).

Sharing her view about the government’s interest in youth development, Minister Valerie Garrido-Lowe highlighted there was an increase in the number of scholarships offered to Indigenous youths. In 2018, some 49 youths received scholarships to attend the University of Guyana (UG), while others received scholarships to attend the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA), the Government Technical Institute (GTI) and the Carnegie Home of Economics in Georgetown.

She urged the youths to continue to take advantage of these opportunities.

“Those of you who just completed secondary school, I urged you upgrade yourselves start applying, and the ministry will ensure that you get a scholarship.”

Minister Valarie Garrido-Lowe announced that the government has constructed a $186M Hinterland Dormitory for tertiary students. The building was completed and will be open in September. It will house students who are furthering their studies but do not have relatives in Georgetown.

To revive the Arawak language in the village, Minister Garrido-Lowe disclosed that an Arawak Module will be published in observance of International Year of Indigenous Languages.

During the interactive session, the residents also had the opportunity to raise issues and concerns, the most common being the main access road. They were assured that the issues with the road will be addressed shortly.

St. Cuthbert’s Mission has a population of over 1,000 Arawaks.

Images: Keno George

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