“The participation of young people in development, governance and leadership develops the enterprises of this country,” thus proclaimed Hon. Minister Pauline Sukhai in front of 124 young enthusiasts from various villages in Region 1 who attended the historic launch of the Youth Apprenticeship and Entrepreneurship Programme (YAEP) on June 22, 2013 at the Santa Rosa Secondary School, Moruca.
The Minister made reference to LCDS and its thrust on investing in human resources as the key framework of the programme as she underscored the resolve of former president Bharrat Jagdeo “for young people to participate in the development of our country.” Likewise, the Minister emphasized what H.E. President Donald Ramotar has always indicated: that “Guyana’s development relies on the development of its human resources,” a reason why H.E. always referred to Japan as a model for human development.
Minister Sukhai highlighted that ”GOG realizes that the indigenous peoples of Guyana has suffered from a lot of neglect and marginalization,” thus the PPP/C government focuses on closing “the gaps existing at various levels.” The YAEP puts this “work into action,” she said.
The Minister pointed out that the concept of the YAEP is “to attach Community Support Officers to areas of their interest” and that during the following days “will seek to ensure that the CSOs acquire the competency they wish to develop”. She added that the goal is for the CSOs to gain enough training and skills with respect to what they each want to achieve and when they are “detached from the MOAA they would be in a position to develop themselves as individuals,” through entrepreneurship and creative activities geared towards green economy.
Meanwhile, MoAA PS Nigel Dharamlall in a moving speech accented “today is a special occasion because it is a gathering of Amerindian young people engaged in a journey for development through direct participation.” According to him, the YAEP will mainstream and integrate young Amerindians in real governance, “a bottom-up” approach which best describes democracy. He urged the young participants to be committed to the programme as he stressed that “if we continue to follow the footsteps of our leaders, we’ll be progressive as a people.”
Adding inspiration to the young people is Regional Chairman Paul Pierre who invited the participants to “prepare and take up these roles seriously.” The regional chairman stated that communities across the hinterland are developing and the challenges are becoming more and more technical, which is why the program will play a great part in developing and moving forward communities.
Also in attendance was Toshao Richard Cornelius of Santa Rosa who applauded the government initiative, urging the youth to “grab the opportunity” that will enable them to make valuable contribution to their community’s human resources.
In closing, Hermina Robinson, a representative of the youth from Matarcai and speaking on behalf of the participants expressed her appreciation for the opportunity given to them as CSOs. She asserted that YAEP will certainly contribute to the development of human capital in Amerindian villages.
The launch was attended by Toshaos and Village Councilors, villagers of Santa Rosa and nearby villages, and the MoAA staff.
YAEP aims to create employment, generate income, and develop the young population of the Hinterlands as leaders and entrepreneurs through attachments in various agencies/offices/services within the villages and respective regional government centers.
The induction and training of the apprentices was conducted on June 23 at the Santa Rosa Primary School. Jude Silva, MoAA Project Coordinator, headed the team that conducted the induction and orientation of the participants.