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The new Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs is determined to bring a new dimension, towards understanding and addressing indigenous people’s development at the grass root level.Community issues will be resolved with community engagements, Minister Sydney Allicock pledged today, as he and his transition team met and engaged residents at Baramita, Region One, at the community’s Primary School.Accompanying Minister Allicock were Minister in the Ministry Valerie Garrido-Lowe, designated Ministerial Advisor on Indigenous People’s Affairs Mervyn Williams and designated Ministerial Advisor on Legal Affairs, David James. In moving forward in devising the plan of action for the new Ministry, the Ministers and team commenced a massive outreach to familarise themselves with the issues affecting hinterland communities and residents.Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs Sydney Allicock addresses Baramita residents.Baramita is the second community visited thus far, in this exercise and Minister Allicock explained to the residents, that if the Ministry was going to address the issues of the communities, then the solutions must be arrived at in partnership with the residents. “You have to help us to understand what is bothering you on the ground so that we can be able to together discuss and find a way forward,” he said.“We would not want to come here to impose anything on you. We would want to have a position of working with you, rather than dictating to you,” he told the residents, as the team went on to listen to some of the social ills that have for too long been plaguing the community. These include issues such as pre-teen sex, teenage pregnancy and substance abuse including teenage drinking,NFL Jerseys Discount, rape and suicide.Some residents laid the blame at the appointed leaders, including their very own Village Councillors’ inability, to over the years,Supply MLB Jerseys China, devise strategies to address these rising scourges, and   for not ensuring that the community’s mining royalties are collected, in a timely manner, and put to the benefit of  all the residents.Other residents laid the village problems at the feet of the ‘coastlanders’. One resident noted that many of the issues now plaguing the village arose with the “uncontrolled, unabated influx,” of Guyanese of non-indigenous descent to Baramita. Residents clarified that this was not to say that the community was against having Guyanese of other descent in the village. He explained that the community was against those within the community that were of no help to them. “Let us not seek to enrich those who are out to harm us, but help us, help ourselves,” one resident said.In response,Wholesale China Jerseys, Minister Allicock pointed out that the incoming Toshao, and village council elections present the opportunity for the residents to choose stronger leaders to effectively manage their affairs. “You need to select stronger leaders…just do not select somebody because they can speak English better than you or because they are your friends or family. Select someone that is responsible, that could lead, that would be able to negotiate on your behalf, be able to delegate responsibility to his/her councillors, but more importantly, someone who knows his boundaries and knows that the land here belongs to the people of Baramita,” the Minister advised.Speaking specifically to those that were granted mining rights in the community and have been finding ways not to pay their royalties, the Minister suggested,Cheap Adidas Hockey Jerseys, examining these, to see what benefits, they bring to the community. The Minister asked that those aspects be considered when determining whether they will continue with these ventures.It was noted that indeed coastlanders should always be welcomed in the community, but they ought to conform to the communities’ rules and regulations.Ministerial Advisor on Legal Affairs, David James noted that the village has at its disposal, the Amerindian Act that provides under Section 14- subsection 1, to the village and its council the right and power to make rules for the village. He suggested that the community look at rules to regulate the sale of alcohol.Meanwhile, Minister Garrido-Lowe, who has responsibility within the new ministry  for women and children’s development and empowerment, explained that some of the issues that are affecting Baramita were first brought to the new government’s attention, when, during the election campaign, a team visited and engaged residents.Minister Garrido-Lowe, who said that she herself did not have the funds to come in to the community before as a Member of Parliament, noted that her concern is not only with teenage drinking, but with the children not attending school and being allowed to work in the mines. Of particular concern too for the Minister is the young girls, “who were being treated like adults,” by the miners.“We will turn this community, into a community that can help itself,” she said, as she talked about working with the women and young people to have specific empowerment programmes. She outlined some of the ministry’s ideas, including proposals to have programmes such as jewellery and craft making, available within the villages. There will be programmes for the men as well, she promised.It’s not all negative in Baramita, as,Cheap Jerseys Wholesale, the village council has been providing an additional stipend to teachers, who are all from the coastland, from the royalties collected. Minister Garrido-Lowe praised this initiative, saying that it demonstrates the villagers’ interest in wanting to educate their children and thus provide for the future leaders.The community had a 100 percent pass rate at the recent National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA.)Also present at the meeting was APNU+AFC Member of Parliament, Richard Allen. (GINA)
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