‘Set your goals high’ 

― Min. Jordan to BNTF/Merundoi graduates

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, November 14, 2019

“I commend you for taking this course… I urge you to carry this achievement with pride and confidence.”

Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan delivered this charge to the thirty-one graduates who benefitted from a Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) and Merundoi audiovisual skills training project. This is the second such collaboration between the two organisations.

Addressing the gathering at the Theater Guild Playhouse, Kingston, Georgetown, the minister explained that the programme shifted its focus to empowering people, going directly to the citizens.

An empowered citizen contributes to the growth of a nation.”

The focus of skills, he explained, is critical given the new direction that Guyana’s economy is heading.

Giving the example of renowned Director of Photography, Wally Pfister’s persistence from a humble start, who was responsible for the blockbuster Batman Begins trilogies, and several other films, the minister said:

Success in any industry, whether it be film, media or anything else does not happen overnight. It requires discipline, dedication and passion. Even your trainers did not become experts in their crafts, in a single day. It took many years of practice to perfect their techniques.”

The Finance Minister explained that the country needs skilled graduates, noting its economic shift into the oil and gas sector and urged that the graduates remain and develop Guyana.

“The country to be in is Guyana. You need to claim your piece of the pie that is coming up. Bear in mind, the piece is there, but it will not be given to you. You have to work towards it. You have done so today, with richness and when you cross this stage, it is the beginning, not the end… In the words of famous director George Lucas, always remember your focus determines your reality. If you set your goals high, you will always have something to strive for.”

The course saw an initial 70 participants, however, 35 failed. Tge minister requested that the 35 be given “first-jump” at another upcoming project since.

“Everyone should be given a chance to acquire skills and become empowered.”

According to BNTF Project Manager, Dikedemma Utoh, this is the ninth BNTF cycle, comprising 39 projects, locally. The $12M project, which saw the acquisition of audiovisual equipment provided for broadcaster training to youths, between the ages of 18 to 24 years, in depressed communities. Students were also provided with a stipend and meals during their training

Transformative change is a hallmark of the Caribbean Development Bank-funded programme, started in 1978 and launched locally in 1993, guided by the Finance Ministry. The previous eight BNTF programme cycles, implemented over 2,000 sub-projects benefitting more 2.8 million people from mostly poor communities across the Caribbean.

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