Georgetown, Guyana – (June 19, 2019) Minister of Citizenship, Mr. Winston Felix, this morning, during a ‘Government comes to you’ exercise in Kartabo Village, Cuyuni – Mazaruni (Region Seven), urged residents to take advantage of Government programmes that offer grant funding and training opportunities for development.

During the meeting, which was hosted at the Kartabo Community Centre, Minister Felix urged residents to find out how they can benefit from the Sustainable Livelihood Entrepreneurial Development (SLED) programme, which is administered by the Ministry of Social Protection or the Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS), which is managed by the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs.

“When you empower people to earn for themselves, nobody can take that away from you, and that is what we have been doing with the HEYS programme…There is another one operating out of the Ministry of Social Protection called [SLED])… I wish that you [would find out about] these programmes,” he said.

The Minister also said community development is an ongoing process and encouraged the residents to “stick with the Government”, which he pointed out has completed several developmental projects across all ten administrative regions.

Referring to immigration and passport services, which fall within his purview, Minster Felix pointed out that the Government has decentralised this service and instead of early-0moring journeys to Georgetown, residents in several communities now have ease of access to these services in their regions.

“When we came in to office in 2015, persons had to line up the length of this village starting from five in the morning or earlier to get a simple [passport]… Since we came into office, you [can obtain] a passport in five days [and] there are no more [long] lines,” he said.

Additionally, the Minister noted that passport offices will soon be commissioned in New Amsterdam, East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) and Linden, Upper Demerara – Berbice (Region 10).

On his arrival at Kartabo, Minister Felix received a warm welcome from students of the Kartabo Primary School. He was the taken on a guided tour of both the Nursery and Primary schools, which are located in the same building and the Kartabo Health Centre, during which residents raised matters of concerns with him. The Minister then committed to bring issues outside of his remit to the attention of the relevant subject ministries.

Minister Felix was accompanied by Regional Representative for the Office of the Prime Minister, Cuyuni – Mazaruni (Region Seven), Ms. Nageshwari Kamal Persaud.

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