SLED projects well underway -10 funded thus far
DPI, GUYANA, Friday, September 29, 2017
Ten (10) Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development (SLED) projects totaling approximately $92.5M have been allocated to date.
This is according to the Special Projects Coordinator Dhanmattie Sohai. In an exclusive interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Sohai explained that though there was a late rollout of the project, it is now ‘well underway’.
The SLED initiative is designed to provide support for the expansion of the local economy in communities across the nation and to aid small enterprises with the goal of stimulating youth employment. Since its establishment in 2015 it has been budgeted for under the Ministry of Communities. However, for 2017, its budget fell under the Ministry of Social Protection.
This, according to Sohai, was one of the reasons for the late start. The other reason was that Minister of Social Protection Amna Ally had deemed it best that the grants be awarded to Co-op societies; this meant groundwork had to be done to ensure persons established and understood the concept of Cooperative Societies.
A Co-operative society is a voluntary association where persons pool their resources and operate a business for their own welfare as opposed to profit making. In a Co-operative Society, an individual can join and leave at any time; each member (shareholder) has the equal right to vote; credit terms are prohibited, and the main objective is to provide goods and services at a lower price.
“Once groups are established and funded”, they officially become a cooperative society, Sohai explained.
Some nineteen (19) projects costing $100M have been earmarked for 2017. So far, ten (10) have been funded. The others that are still in process of being established will receive priority in 2018. The Ministry allocates funds to the Regional Democratic Council, who then assigns the money to the groups.
“Due to the group dynamics, persons have had a hard time adjusting”, but all are on board the Special Projects Coordinator noted. There is “a lot of enthusiasm among persons”, she added.
According to Sohai, the preparatory works that were conducted will ensure the Ministry has a head-start in 2018. She added that while groups “may not be able to make money this year… they will be able to reap something for the Christmas Season”.
The ten projects and regions that have been funded through the RDC thus far are:
- West Demerara Proactive Producers Cooperative Society, Stanleytown, WBD – Salted Fish Processing
- Buxton Flavour and Fragrance Multipurpose Cooperative Society – Salted Fish & Preserves Facility
- Young Adventures Cash Crop Farmers’ Cooperative Society, #8 Village, WCD – Cash Crop farming
- Women on the Rise Cooperative Society #30 Village, WCD – rearing of poultry
- Belladrum CDC – Pig Rearing
- Chenapau Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited, – rearing of cross bred chicks and subsistence farming
- Hiawa Multi-purpose Cooperative Society, Rupununi – Sheep Rearing
- Aishalton Multi-purpose Cooperative society, Rupununi – Food preservation, catering & hospitality services
- Moco Multi-purpose Cooperative Society, Rupununi – Block making
- Section C Christianburg CDC, Wismar – Pig rearing
The SLED initiative team comprises four persons including Sohai, Rhonda Nelson, Tiffany Babb, Monica Hackshaw.
By: Zanneel Williams