Georgetown, Guyana – (October 31, 2016) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, today, said that she was pleased to be launching the 10th Self-Reliance and Success in Business workshop for women in Kuru Kururu, Linden-Soesdyke Highway.

“It’s always a pleasure for me to come and ensure that women like [myself] get some power in their hands and are able to use it for their benefit and for the benefit of their families,” Mrs. Granger said.

The workshops, which aim to provide empowerment for women through entrepreneurship, fall under the auspices of the Office of the First Lady and are financed by the Ministry of Social Protection. The First Lady remarked that she was grateful to Minister Volda Lawrence for being able to facilitate the workshops financially. “[Minister Lawrence] was very open to the idea of empowering women…and so we thought this was a good idea to collaborate and to move this workshop out to different communities so that women could recongnise they have skill,” Mrs. Granger said.

Meanwhile, Regional Chairperson, Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four), Ms. Genevieve Allen, said that the initiative is one that will benefit communities along the Linden-Soesdyke Highway. “The commencement of this programme is a dream come through… It is appropriate [for you] to have this programme where you [will be taught] business skills where I am expecting you to expand your businesses,” she said, even as she expressed gratitude to the First Lady for providing the women from the community with the opportunity to benefit from the workshops.

Mr. Yohann Sanjay Pooran, facilitator at Interweave Solutions Incorporated, said that the workshops have so far trained over 240 women countrywide. “I want us all to understand where this programme has been and the impact it has had on the livelihood of women across [Guyana]… This is a celebration of the programme that has spread across the length and breadth of this country to benefit all Guyanese, particularly Guyanese women,” he said.

Ms. Annie Sripersaud, who operates a stall at Parika Market, said she is looking forward to empowering herself to augment her household income.

The new group of women, who all hail from villages along the Linden-Soesdyke Highway, are mostly small business owners who are interested in expanding their businesses. Ms. Lucia Harlequin, who owns a hardware store in Kuru Kururu, said that she decided to attend the workshop after a friend convinced her that it was important for business women in the community to empower themselves. Ms. Annie Sripersaud, who operates a stall at the Parika Market, shared similar sentiments. “In these days things are hard and if I am a woman and if I can do something to bring money in my home, what she’s doing is encouraging us and building us,” she said.

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