[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock says there is need for a more strategic and integrated approach as it relates to the development of Indigenous communities.
During his address to Indigenous leaders of North Rupununi, Region Nine recently, Minister Allicock said that Indigenous people need to move away from collecting handouts. In this regard, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, is prepared to support any viable community projects.
The minister noted that the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) will now have the opportunity to truly fulfill its mandate, as they were given the responsibility to assist in overseeing community development projects in the North Rupununi. The Board will be working closely with the communities to implement sustainable, income generating projects, and also provide technical support in this regard.
“We must have a district that we could manage effectively, have economic strength for our community. All projects we will be looking at should have an economic slant to it and we will support you with your ideas,” Minister Allicock told the leaders.
He further noted that the Ministry along with the NRDDB will be closely monitoring the projects to ensure they are sustained.
The Minister also took the opportunity to highlight the five-year strategic plan for Indigenous development. This plan encapsulates a Hinterland Education Support Programme, Hinterland Poverty Reduction Programme, Hinterland Employment and Youth Service, Hinterland Infrastructure Extension, Hinterland Happy Household and Energy Development Programme, Hinterland and Indigenous Land Commission, Hinterland Language, Culture and Sports Commission, Hinterland Tourism Development Service, and Hinterland Public Service Provision Scheme.
Minister Allicock urged the leaders to put aside their political differences, and examine those programmes and support them so that there can be development in the Hinterland.
To further boost community projects, the Ministry will be launching a Youth Skills Training programme on October 01. This initiative will replace the YEAP programme, and will allow Indigenous youths to become certified in areas such as tourism, agriculture, mechanical engineering, among other areas. [Extracted and modified from GINA]