A number of proposals have been made by Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe for the development of Indigenous women and youths. These proposals include kitchen gardens for families, women’s groups’ projects and sport development.
Empowering indigenous women and making them economically independent is one of the main goals for Minister Garrido-Lowe. During an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA) the Minister noted that in the 2017 National Budget, funding is being budgeted for at least 10 women’s group development.
Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe
The funding, the Minister explained, will go towards any “green sustainable project that will bring income to them, and put food on the table for their families.” The 10 groups being proposed for funding is a significant increase from this year. For 2016, two groups received $4M funding for a poultry farm in Region One and a craft shop in Region Eight.
Another proposal being made my Minister Garrido-Lowe is to have families in Monkey Mountain, Region Eight start kitchen gardens. The Minister explained that on her last visit to the village, she realised that the residents are too dependent on vegetables coming from Georgetown.
Minister Lowe pointed out that the goal is to at least have 15 families involved in agriculture. “This is a family affair where even the children could water (plants) before they go to school. You grow ochro, bora and some other things, the other one grows pumpkin and different vegetables,” the Minister explained.
Once families get involved in producing crops, the Minister noted that they could take the opportunity to sell to the schools for the hot meal programme.
Additionally, Minister Garrido-Lowe is looking towards youth development through sports. In Moruca, cricket is a popular sport among the youths, and the Minister is looking to develop it through youth camps.
Minister Lowe explained, “I proposed in the 2017 budget, to start with a cricket camp in August where at least 10 communities from the different Moruca villages in the Moruca sub-region will come and stay at the dormitory during the holidays.” During the camp, the youths are expected to be guided by coaches for at least two weeks.
Budget 2017 is expected to be read in the National Assembly on December 5, 2016 by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan.