Georgetown, Guyana – (November 16, 2018) Thirty-one women, this afternoon, graduated from First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger’s Early Childhood Development Workshop, at a simple ceremony hosted in the Baridi Benab at State House. The workshop, the second and final one of its kind for 2018, drew participants from the Buxton Day Care Centre, the Central Islamic Organisation, the St. John Bosco’s Orphanage, Women Across Differences (WAD), the Office of the First Lady and from as far the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three).

Secretary General of the National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Ms. Patrice La Fleur, who delivered the feature remarks, lauded the First Lady, for starting the initiative. “We are quite aware that many parents, mothers and fathers are unaware of the importance of the early stages of development of children, hence there is now education for parents, childcare workers etc, providing information of its importance and what parents’ teachers and other care givers must address in their interaction with children,” she said.

Secretary-General of the Guyana Red Cross Society (GRCS), Mrs. Dorothy Fraser A.A., expressed similar sentiments, noting that the First Lady has done tremendous work to foster the development of women and girls in Guyana. “She continues to give support and guidance and seeks to helps find ways to increase knowledge and experience and development of our women…She really has gone all the way to make sure young women are able to develop and grow and do a great job in moving forward,” Ms. Fraser said.

Meanwhile, the graduates said that they were overjoyed to have completed the intense programme. Ms. Anecia Austin, who hails from Boerasirie village, West Coast Demerara, said that the workshop has helped her to recommit to her goal of becoming a physiologist. “I benefitted a great lot and being an aspiring physiologist, this workshop has helped me a great lot in understanding the stages in Early Childhood Development and how children learn… I’ve learnt the various ways of being able to take care for a child based on the knowledge I gathered… I would like to extend sincere thanks to the First Lady and the Minister of Social Protection for the opportunity given,” she said.

To date, over 150 women have graduated from the Early Childhood Development workshop, which is a joint collaboration between the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Social Protection. This is the fifth workshop held from the inception of the programme. Graduates must complete all components of the three-week long programme, which includes two modules of Early Childhood Development training and one module of First Aid, which is conducted at the GRCS.

Facilitator of the workshop, Ms. Paulette Bollers; WAD Co-ordinator, Ms. Clonel Samuels – Boston and Ministry of Social Protection, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mr. Adrian Ramratan, and Chief Accountant, Ms. Sharon Elgin also attended the ceremony.

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