Ministry of Education, Guyana

Sunday, 20 January 2019 10:01

119 Million spent in Region 10 on HEYS programme

…additional millions to be pumped in

Youths in Region 10 who participated in the last year of the Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) programme have earned some 119 million dollars. This was the disclosure made by Coastal Monitor, Neill Persaud while addressing students from Cohorts One and Two during a one-day training session.

The programme, which is being funded through the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, targets youths between 16 to 35 years old, while providing them with required skills and knowledge to start their own businesses. Addressing participants at the Coomacka Community Centre, Persaud revealed that the programme has been very successful since its implementation in Region 10 in 2017. He pointed out that the programme commenced in August 2017 and concluded in July 2018 for Region 10. He said that 10 villages participated in the programme, noting that 190 persons were enrolled in the programme. He noted that through the programme, participants received a grant along with a stipend for one year. Each participant received a 50,000.00 grant to start their business along with a 30,000.00 monthly stipend for one year.

The coastal monitor revealed that 182 youths received grants in Region 10 with 169 of those youths completing the programme. Further, he noted that a total of 138 businesses were established with a dropout rate representing 11 per cent. “This demonstrated that while 11 per cent of persons dropped out, 89 percent of those persons successfully completed. That indicates that it was a very successful programme which indicates that our youths are indeed serious about developing themselves,” he said.

He noted that studies have found that it takes three years for businesses to develop, thus the Government of Guyana remains committed and dedicated in ensuring that youths from the programme receive the required training and support to ensure that their businesses can become very successful. “Through these training programmes, it allows us to give you some more encouragement, knowledge and information so as to become better business persons so as to help with the development of the community and the nation at large,” he said.

He went on to note that there were 20 facilitators throughout the programme in Region 10, adding that the response by villages and persons were very good. “Several villages mobilised the youths while a number of persons came to us enquiring how they could get involved in the programme, as it was one of the most sought after programmes in the country. There continues to be a great demand for the continuation of the HEYS programme and this speaks to the effectiveness of the programme,” Persaud said. He pointed out that employment was created while economic development also took place, noting that Region 10 saw some 119 million being disbursed to the participants.

The coastal monitor said that a comparison was done with international organisations which revealed that only 35 per cent of businesses that received grants remains after a year, noting that a review of Region 10’s figures revealed that it is over 50 per cent.

Persaud urged the youths to remain inspired and motivated, reminding them that they need to remain focused on their dreams and vision so that they can be better business persons returning to their communities. He noted that a number of female participants have been employing their spouses, noting that this is further boosting the economy. He added that a number of grandmothers and grandfathers are also being employed, as participants aggressively seek to develop their businesses. He noted further that as a result of HEYS, it’s reaching out to a number of communities that once had a number of unemployed persons.

In reviewing the success of the programme in Region 10, Persaud said that the councillors in the region have lent and continues to lend valuable support and assistance to participants, thus resulting in its success. He revealed that recently, parliament approved an additional 50,000.00 to persons who are part of cohorts one and two as he stressed that the president’s vision is to further empower youths so as to become self-sustainable.
He assured participants that assistance would be given to them with bottling, packaging, labelling and most importantly marketing their products.

Meanwhile, Regional Executive Officer (REO), Orrin Gordon stressed that development continues in Region 10, disclosing that his region had funded some 33 projects totalling some 54 million. This was done last year and executed within the riverine communities within Region 10. “Thirty-three projects were executed totalling 54 million, so other than the HEYS programme, there are added developments taking place within the region. Many persons have this concept that Linden is Region 10 but we must understand that Linden is just 55 square miles, while Region 10 is 6555 square miles, so we can see that Region 10 is much bigger than Linden,” he declared.

Gordon congratulated the team for its part in executing the HEYS programme, while urging the participants to continue their diligence and dedication to the programme, reminding them that the knowledge, skills and support gained from the programme will boost their entrepreneurial skills.


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