“US sees positive returns” on investment in Guyana’s education sector -Ambassador Holloway
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, July 20, 2017
In a few weeks, a batch of Guyanese entrepreneurs will be selected to participate in the 2017 Young Leaders for the Americas initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Programmeme.
This was revealed by Ambassador of the United States to Guyana, Perry Holloway recently, who explained, that this is all in an effort to boost Guyana’s education sector.
The YLAI Fellows Programmeme brings together t0wenty-four young leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean, including four from Guyana, in the United States for an exchange programme which involves internships and skills-building workshops.
The initiative was launched under the former U.S. President Obama administration to build linkages between young leaders across the hemisphere, and expand opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs and civil society leaders.
Four young Guyanese entrepreneurs; Dason Anthony, Judason Bess, Abbigale Loncke and Shaunda Yarde participated in a successful pilot of the YLAI fellowship programme in Spring (March, April, May) 2016.
Yarde founded Coconut Grove in 2013. She uses fresh local ingredients to make a culturally rooted product, Golden Crunch Coconut Biscuits. “Yarde reiterated that YLAI was the perfect boot camp for her business and the ultimate reboot for her soul”, Ambassador Holloway said.
Loncke established a Community Health Care, an agency that delivers home care needs for the elderly, sick, disabled, and children in the comfort of their homes. She also provides training for women who are in need of employment to take up roles as care-givers. She received a ‘special shout-out from the U.S President’, Ambassador Holloway noted, “for her outstanding work as a young entrepreneur.”
In the five-week programme, the participants (fellows) learn and shar their experiences in start-ups, small businesses, non-governmental organizations, and similar entities in cities throughout the United States and in partnership with community groups and American universities.
The 2016 YLAI Professional Fellows selection team received nearly 4,000 applications for this Presidential programme. The 250 selected business and social entrepreneurs represent 35 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Ambassador Holloway highlighted that the Embassy continues to empower young people via “Our Youth Ambassadors programme as they become emerging leaders, making positive contributions in their communities. We continue to see the positive returns of the Youth Ambassadors Programme, when young adults return to Guyana with a strong commitment and passion in fulfilling their responsibilities towards the development of their country.”
Another educational project is the reactivation of some 20-year dormant Fulbright U.S Scholarship Programme. This Programme sends U.S. scholars and professionals abroad to lecture or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields.
Ambassador Holloway, last week, said that the programme has been officially reactivated, and reiterated the US’s commitment to help build capacity for Guyana’s education sector. “An American professor came to work at the UG for one semester and was so popular among her students that UG requested as extension.”
The Fulbright Programme was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by late Senator J. William Fulbright. It is sponsored by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
There was also, an exchange between Texas Tech and the University of Guyana sponsored by ExxonMobil. “It provided opportunities for students of both universities to exchange ideas and to create projects around extracting petroleum in the most environmentally friendly manner possible,” the Ambassador explained.
The US Embassy also assisted Ruel Johnson in becoming the first Guyanese author to participate in the internationally renowned for ‘Fall Residency for Writers’ at the University of Iowa. Another Guyanese writer has already been selected to participate in the 2017 programme.
Five young Guyanese journalists were also sent to the United States for intensive three-week programme this year, on issues ranging from democracy and elections to investigative journalism in biodiversity and the rainforest.