Several persons, including high school drop-outs and housewives, benefited from a six-month programme offered by the Venezuelan Institute and successfully graduated yesterday.
The graduation ceremony, which marked the 8th of its kind, saw the majority of women and a few disabled persons being awarded with certificates for completing various programmes such as cosmetology, first aid, cake decorating, clothing and textiles and foreign languages.
President of the Women with Power Organization, Judy Kanhai, in congratulating the graduates, indicated to them that it was only the beginning. She urged them to continue practicing to perfect their craft and to make good use of opportunities presented to them.
Beverly Pile, Administrative Officer of the National Commission on Disability, stated that persons were not trained in their respective fields to remain in that position but to further develop their skill.
“Women are definitely making headway here, don’t we see this?” she said, noting that the unemployment rate will decrease because many persons envisage setting up their own businesses and will be in a position to hire persons.
Newly appointed Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster, said government is heartened of the goodwill that exists between Guyana and Venezuela and initiatives such as this are commendable. “You are all women of worth. There is always a sense of accomplishment and excitement in occasions such as this; as you have worked diligently to achieve this,” she pointed out while commending the graduates for their accomplishment.
Webster stated that women’s growing participation in decision making and general development can be observed across the entire workforce today. “I strongly believe that we as women have a role to play in our country’s development,” she added.
She noted that the technical and skilful positions that women now hold, such as welders and engineers, were not achieved with great speed but had been a long journey. She also recognized those who hold the highest levels of political, executive and judicial positions.
“It has been a long journey which we women have embarked upon and that journey, I wish to urge you all, must continue.”
While admitting that there are challenges which women at all levels face, Webster said the graduates can use the skills they are now armed with to overcome these challenges. “Today is the beginning of a new era in your life and you acknowledge that. Whatever you do or achieve depends on you,” she said.
Minister Webster reminded the graduates of the importance of commitment and dedication in personal development.
“You should set yourself goals and work assiduously to achieve those goals. The opportunity afforded to you will make a difference in your life. Do not be complacent; the future holds promises which you have embraced,” Webster stated.