Georgetown, Guyana – (October 26, 2017) As the Ministry of Social Cohesion advances its mandate of creating a more unified society, it hosted a Diversity Education and Inclusion Workshop today in Linden at the Region 10 Business Centre. The workshop, which is the second of its kind in the region and the second that has been held in the country focuses entirely on youth and targeted a batch of young people.

The objective of this workshop is primarily to allow participants to explore concepts that will help them to learn more about themselves, assist participants in understanding diversity beyond race, learn about challenges associated with a country as diverse as Guyana and finally, to develop opportunities for cross community collaborations with the Ministry of Social Cohesion. The Ministry plans to accomplish these objectives though a series of entertaining but thought provoking activities, group discussions and ice-breakers during the course of the workshop.

Programme Coordinator at the Ministry, Ms. Sharon Patterson explained that participants will be creating and executing a community project to demonstrate their understanding of social cohesion and harmony.

“We want people to understand where they come from, know their own values, why we make some of the decisions we make, we want people to understand that diversity is an asset and not a liability and can be used to promote us and build us as a people” Ms. Patterson said. She also added that the Ministry of Social Cohesion had now consumed the departments of Culture, Youth and Sport and as such, it is now in a strategic position to work more with youth and cultural groups.

The workshop saw a diverse group of young people, several of whom expressed that they were happy to have the opportunity to be part of the activity; noting that they had found it quite informative and gratifying. President of the Linden Youth leaders’ Group, Ms. Coretta Hutson, said that, “So far this has proven to be very educational and I am looking forward to see what else it has to offer because whatever I learn here, I will be taking back to my youth group to educate them.”

Facilitators of the workshop, Ms. Kala Seegopaul and Ms. Rishon Rambarran, said that at the end of this workshop they expected the participants have a heightened sense of awareness about behaviours that contribute to building better relations between individuals in their communities as well as create a greater commitment towards nurturing individual and community relations.

In August of this year the Ministry hosted a sensitisation workshop which highlighted the works of the Ministry and provided general information about the topic of social cohesion. The sensitisation session acted as a prelude for this two day workshop. Since the Diversity Education and Inclusion programme has commenced the Ministry has executed 44 workshops thus far.

Ms. Patterson said that these workshops will continue country wide targeting NGOs, youth groups, regional and municipal officials and religious bodies.

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