Ministry of Education, Guyana

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 13:47

130 Rupununi youths receive $6.5M HEYS stimulus grant

One hundred and thirty youths from nineteen villages and communities in the Rupununi received a financial boost to their respective businesses established under the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) Programme. The grant is in the amount of $6.5 million.

The participants were drawn from eleven villages in South Central, Rupununi and eight in the Karasabai district with existing businesses receiving their grants Wednesday and Thursday last.

According to a release from the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, the stimulus grants were presented at the villages of Shulinab and Karasabai.

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe; Permanent Secretary Alfred King, Coordinator of the HEYS Programme, Junior Williams; Region 9 HEYS Monitor, Rohan Bishop and the respective village Toshaos and senior councillors were present.

Minister Garrido-Lowe, during her engagement with the youths, said she is pleased with the overwhelming response the programme has received from villagers and youths, and she said that she is extremely proud of the success stories seen and heard from 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 two billion dollars of taxpayer’s money on your development,” the minister stated.
According to the minister, this is the reason the youths should capitalise fully on the opportunity which will ensure they receive “the good life promised.”

The minister explained to the youths that in order for them to see 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.”
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Alfred King expressed the belief that the “HEYS programme, now after two cohorts, is now considered a programme of choice for young people in almost every indigenous community that we go to and also considered a household name in any part of Guyana.”

King noted too 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 are a big thing, provide vocational skills training and the entrepreneurship training or business training which are all necessary and critical to improve your lives.”

Angella James, a participant from Sand Creek Village, said she received tremendous support and was economically empowered after joining the HEYS programme after “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.”

One of the young men joining the programme from Sawariwau Village, Ezra Williams, expressed appreciation for the assistance he received.
Karen Johnson of Tipuri village said that her entire village is thankful for the opportunity the project has provided.

Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock; Minister Garrido-Lowe, other senior staff in the ministry and the HEYS staff have been travelling to the respective regions where a fifty thousand dollars grant is given to youths with existing businesses to support their initiatives.

This exercise has been receiving rave reviews since youths are speaking candidly on how the HEYS programme, also referred to as an “irreversible movement” has positively changed the trajectory of their lives.

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


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