Ministry of Education, Guyana

Monday, 22 April 2019 12:43

$6.5M in HEYS stimulus Grant handed over

─130 Region 9 youths benefit

One hundred and thirty youths from nineteen villages and communities in Region 9 who participated in the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) programme received an additional financial boost to their respective businesses established under the youth initiative.

Young entrepreneurs from 11 villages in South Central, Rupununi and eight in Karasabai with existing businesses received their grants Wednesday and Thursday last in Shulinab and Karasabai.

Present at the exercise was Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, Permanent Secretary Alfred King (Shulinab), Coordinator of the HEYS programme Junior Williams, Region Nine HEYS Monitor Rohan Bishop and the respective village Toshaos’ and senior councillors.

Minister Garrido-Lowe during her engagement with the youths noted her satisfaction with the overwhelming response the programme has received in the various villages; and her extreme pride in the emanating from the across the hinterland.

“You being here is a fact and testimony that HEYS has done something for each and every one of you… The APNU/AFC Government has spent on Hinterland youths alone, close to $2Billion of tax payer’s money on your development,” the minister stated.

It is for this reason, Minister Garrido-Lowe said the youths must capitalise fully on the opportunity which will ensure they receive “the good life promised”.

She explained that in order for the young people to achieve success, “you will pass through bumps and cracks and a lot of things before you achieve your dreams; it makes you a stronger person, a wiser person, better able to cope with life.”

In commending the youth for their discipline and commitment, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Alfred King said “HEYS after two cohorts is now considered a programme of choice for young people in almost every indigenous community that we go to and is also considered a household name in any part of Guyana”.

King also noted that “when you say HEYS people can identify with it, and what it is doing for young people; can identify with the impact the programme is making on the lives of villages and the lives of the young people. We are proud of it because it provides you with training in good life skills which is a big thing, provide vocational skills training and the entrepreneurship training or business training which are all necessary and critical to improving your lives”.


Angella James a participant from Sand Creek Village said she received tremendous support and was economically empowered after joining HEYS. “Starting in my yard at home with a little kitchen garden and now I’m making a small ranch for myself and I am very proud of what I am doing,” James related.

“I really want to thank you Minister and the Government for the business that I have and I can say that people in my village wanted me to work, but I tell them that you all cannot pay me like how I’m earning in my house from the HEYS Programme” said Dianne George from Katoonarib 20190423 25

One of the young men from Sawariwau Village Ezra Williams said, “before the HEYS I was just gaffing, I didn’t have any skills that I could have maintained a business, but when this programme was introduced to my community through the facilitator Mr. Cedrick, he was the one to build up our financial capacities and leadership skills as well. Now I am rearing pigs and the business is building up well. Thanks to the Ministry for introducing this programme to the youths in my community because they didn’t have anything too but now, they have businesses”.

Tipuri’s Karen Johnson said her entire village “is grateful for this HEYS programme which gives us an opportunity to learn skills like sewing, cooking and carpentry. We have our own jobs in our villages and our businesses are all successful. Before HEYS I was unemployed and didn’t know what to do, then the opportunity presented itself and I took it and with the $50,0000 grant we will be receiving today we will be expanding our businesses”.

Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Sydney Allicock, Minister Garrido-Lowe and other senior staff in the Ministry and the HEYS staff have all been travelling to the respective regions where a $50,000 grant is presented to youths with existing businesses to further support their initiatives.

This exercise has been receiving rave reviews since youths have been very candid about the HEYS programme also referred to as an “irreversible movement” many say it has positively changed the trajectory of their lives.

Meanwhile, the Ministry has been evaluating the initiative and from all indications the success stories are compelling and already villages have been lobbying to have the third cohort.


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