Ten indigenous village leaders are in training in Georgetown, to serve as welfare officers in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine.
According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), these officers were recently hired by the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs.
The workshop is aimed at assisting the officers to better understand their roles and procedures they will have to follow when addressing social and welfare cases.
DPI said that the plan is to establish a corps of welfare officers to be stationed across the hinterland to provide the necessary services.
At the launch yesterday, at the Hinterland Student Dormitory at Liliendaal, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock stressed the importance of ensuring hinterland residents are cognisant of their rights and aware of the services available to them.
Allicock said that the event is timely, as it coincides with the recently concluded National Toshaos Council where a number of social and welfare issues were raised.
“You are part of the solution to many of those issues that we have been hearing, issues affecting our people…the people need to be properly informed, they need to be part of this whole process and you …will have to be in a good position to give that advice, to give that guidance and to impart knowledge. That is why it is necessary to receive all the training possible,” Allicock told the participants.
The one-month training exercise is being facilitated by the ministry in collaboration with the Ministries of Social Protection, Public Health, Citizenship and Public Security, among other agencies.