Indigenous women in the village of Wiruni, Upper Berbice River, Region 10 are gravitating towards fields that men traditionally dominated. This is being facilitated through the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) programme being rolled out in the village.
Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe
During an interview with the Government Information Agency, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs’, Valerie Garrido-Lowe noted that women are pushing themselves to accumulate knowledge in electrical engineering and auto mechanic.
Minister Garrido-Lowe explained that many of the males are gravitating to the mining field because it is a lot more profitable. However, the Minister stated, “I am happy that the girls stayed and are taking the opportunity.”
Women who are taking up those non-traditional skills will better cater for their families while the men are away, the Minister said. “The family has a chance to live at a certain standard because their mother will be able to work and bring an income into the home with the skills she is getting,” the Minister explained.
The Minister said that those women can use the skills required to even become entrepreneurs.
Under the HEYS programme, youths are being trained and certified in areas of garment construction, carpentry, joinery, tourism, auto mechanic and entrepreneurship. They are also taught Mathematics and English Language.
The Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) programme began in October 2015 and is currently ongoing in 112 hinterland communities. It was developed to positively contribute to improve the lifestyle and living standards for hinterland youth and young adults.