Ten indigenous welfare officers now on the ground

DPI, Guyana, Friday, August 17, 2018

Indigenous leaders from Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine are now equipped with the expertise to serve as welfare officers, after successfully completing a one-month training programme.

Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock, Minister within the Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, Permanent Secretary, Alfred King and Deputy Permanent Secretary, Samantha Fede along with the Welfare Officers at the closing ceremony for the training programme

The participants received their certificates at a closing ceremony today at the Hinterland Student Dormitory at Liliendaal.

Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock said that the training is appropriate because for too long the Indigenous peoples were at a disadvantage with limited access to social services: “For our ministry to be successful, we need such a team and with your intervention, with the right training, we will be able to achieve this…You have the quality and space to improve and we are here to give the support.”

Minister Allicock said the aim is to bridge the gap between the coastland and hinterland by providing access to services similar to that of coast landers.

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe said the fact that the ministry was able to produce ten additional welfare officers to serve the hinterland is a significant accomplishment.

These individuals, she said, will now have the task of engaging the people on the ground and getting au fait with the issues affecting them and providing feedback to the ministry. This is especially gratifying since the officers know the lifestyles of the people, their languages and traditions.

The training programme was done by facilitators from the ministry in collaboration with the Ministries of Social Protection, Public Health, Citizenship and Public Security and Specialists in Sustained Youth Development and Research (SSYDR).

The plan is to establish a corps of welfare officers to be stationed across the hinterland.

Synieka Thorne

Image: Abike Barker