North Rupununi youth commended for involvement in community development 

─ Min. Allicock hands over grants to young people in Massara, Annai  

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, May 2, 2019

Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock has commended the youth of Annai and neighbouring villages Massara, North Rupununi, Region 9, for their active participation in community development in sport and job creation.

On Thursday, Minister Allicock visited the communities to deliver on promises made to support their respective community projects. At Massara, the youth received funding to equip their sport clubs; while Annai received for the extension of a restaurant. The restaurant was established by the village council and is now manned by youths who completed training under the HEYS programme.

“I am impressed by the way the youth are positioning themselves to make meaningful contributions to their community and by extension the country. I see you have young people on the councils and that is good…” Minister Allicock told the young people at a community engagement at Massara.

He added, “we would like to see young people doing real business and getting involved in activities that they can earn and develop themselves.”

Known for producing great sportsmen and women, Massara has a cricket, basketball and cricket sports club. At the community meeting at the Massara Village Benab, Minister Allicock spoke of the benefits of sport in development; it helps to instil discipline, develop self-esteem, teaches leadership skills, foster unity and can generally improve the health and wellbeing of an individual. He, however, urged the youth not to forget their academic education while they get active in sport.

The government is providing that opportunity through the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service Programme (HEYS), Bina Hill Youth Learning Centre and the Green Enterprise Centre under construction in Annai and the newly constructed Hinterland Student Dormitory for tertiary students in Georgetown. Further, Minister Allicock explained that the recently established Youth Corps at the Kuru Kuru Training Centre will train some 1,000 young people across the country under the HEYS and other youth training programmes. He said that while this may not cover young persons with children, the ministry will be providing support to communities to provide training and job opportunities for them.

“We had one case where a young lady had a family with six kids, she may not be able to leave her children and go for training. But we don’t want those youth to feel left out, so we are looking to a more community approach to deal with those cases.”

To the elders, Minister Allicock urged them to work on developing a strategy that will set a foundation for the young generation. He, therefore, urged them to get organised and develop proposals that will see the complete transformation of the village, keeping in mind food security, cottage industries, and job creation.

Further, he urged the residents to develop a partnership approach to development and be rid of any negative things that seek to divide them.

Vice President of the football sports club, Lenny Moses said that the funding is timely since the village is currently preparing for three tournaments within a few weeks.

During the interactive session, the residents requested floodlights for the community sports ground so that young people can be engaged in competitive games in the nights. They are also asking for funding to upgrade the field. Minister Allicock asked that the sport clubs prepare proposals for the projects which can be reviewed for approval.

Synieka Thorne.

Image: Anil Seelall.


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