Over 220 Region Nine women receive grants to start their own businesses

The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), distributed some $11.1 million in ‘empowerment funds’ to 223 residents of Lethem, Region Nine, on Sunday.

The donor grant from Canada was initially meant for participants of the Women’s Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN), but was recently extended to benefit vulnerable citizens across the country.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud in Lethem, Region Nine

DPI spoke with several recipients of the grant who welcomed the initiative wholeheartedly. They said the grant will assist them to pursue their business goals.

Marva Holesworth, a graduate of the WIIN child care course said the money will help her to open a day care establishment.

“This is a wonderful opportunity and I am very grateful for it. I am in the process of opening up a day care and this is going to help me with furnishing and setting up of the day care.”

Sophia Benedict said, “I feel great, this is good for me, very good. I am going to upgrade my kitchen garden and my poultry.”

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud handing over funds to a resident

 Shirley George, expressed gratitude for the grant saying it would help her to pursue the dream of becoming an entrepreneur.

“I feel so grateful about this grant because I always want my own business and I applied to do manicure and pedicure. I am happy for this money to buy my tools to start my work.  To me, government is doing this he (President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali) is helping people to do their own business, to make them own money rather than working with people. … it is nice.”

Sharla Hernandez shared similar sentiments.

“I am very happy to receive a grant. I wasn’t expecting it. It was a surprise when we got the call and we appreciate the start up for whatever project each of us are doing. For myself, I have just completed a sewing course and graduated last week. So, besides that, I already have my machines. I just need to buy some materials. So, this will come in very useful. That is a part time earning where I can provide for my family, as well.”

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud handing over funds to a resident

Meanwhile, Minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, M.P, who spearheaded the distribution drive highlighted the many opportunities provided through WIIN. She reiterated government’s commitment to empower and upskill women in Guyana.

“It is a commitment by our government to empower women to ensure that they are not only trained and upskilled, but they have the opportunity for financial empowerment. One of the things that our government is very specific about is that everything is inclusive, that it is not confined to only one region or only some people, it is involving all.”

The distribution exercise continues in several communities in Region Eight, including Paramakatoi, Monkey Mountain and Mahdia.

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