The community of Batavia located in Region Seven, is embarking on several projects to create employment opportunities for its residents, especially youths and single parent mothers.
Some of the items available at the Women’s Handicraft Centre
One of the projects being rolled out is the women’s handicraft centre, which currently employs about 25 women. This centre, which occupies the bottom flat of the Village Office, received $2.798M from Government in 2015. The money was used to refurbish the building, and purchase materials including nibbi, tibisiri, cufa, feathers, and mucru, and to facilitate training.
The women are producing beaded jewellery using forest products; nibbi and tibisiri hats; vases and ornamental products such as jewellery boxes; matapis and cassava sifters; traditional wear for indigenous men and women, and hand knitted cotton bags and chains.
Toshao, Eyon Boyal told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the women’s project targets mostly single parent mothers; however other women are welcome to get onboard. He said that the project is a huge success and the women are passionate about it since they are earning an income while preserving their culture.
The items are currently being sold to villagers and residents of nearby villages; however Boyal said that, “We are going to explore the idea of
Toshao of Batavia, Eyon Boyal
selling at the Marriott Hotel. We have plans also to sell our products to the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs’ craft centre.”
The group has set up a management body which supervises the centre’s day to day operations and also sought external assistance where trainers were sourced from Orealla in Region Six to provide additional training in others areas.
Boyal said that the community is also embarking on an internet cafe, not only to generate income and create employment for the youths, but to provide training in Information Communication Technology (ICT).
Additionally, the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) programme is being executed in the village. There are 14 female participants and three facilitators. The youths are being trained in various skill areas which will prepare them for the world of work.
Batavia is a small Amerindian village located about 15 minutes from Bartica along the Essequibo River. It has a population of over 400 persons.