Georgetown: First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, at the opening ceremony of the second Training of Trainers Self-Reliance and Success in Business Workshop, urged participants to play a vital role in their communities. The one-week workshop, which is the second of its kind, commenced Monday morning at the Regency Suites, Hadfield Street, Georgetown.
“Once you have completed this training, you’re expected to be able to go to your own communities… to help other women who are set up in business… and create your own network within your respective regions so that you can all be successful in your professional and personal lives and of course play a vital role in your community,” the First Lady said.
The First Lady is also looking forward to the feedback the new facilitators will provide as they host their own workshop. “Although we have received more requests… to do more workshops… we thought it would be good to increase your capacity in your communities so that you can take up the mantle… You will be able to see and tell us if the workshop yielded benefits for the women who participated,” she said.
Director of Interweave Solutions (Guyana) Incorporated and Senior Facilitator, Mr. Wayne Barrow, said that it is important for participants to realise that they will not be teachers, but facilitators in their future workshops. “Teachers may normally digest information from a particular book in a structured manner. The Caribbean Region is calling for greater innovation…What facilitation does is to accommodate brainstorming…In many instances you’ll find that… sometimes [participants] don’t need money. Sometimes they just need a partner,” he said.
Mr. Barrow also commented on the privilege of working alongside the First Lady. “One of the reasons we approached the First Lady is that I’ve always known her to be open minded… She’s an implementer. She mobilise[s] the women. She knows what it’s like [for women who are] abused or [in] an economically deprived situation and she feels for them as a mother. So, I see the reality of her mothering the nation… To me, she’s not doing this as a politician, but as a concerned citizen of Guyana,” he said.
Kitty resident, Ms. Jael Hicks, who plans to open a Guyanese online shopping directory, commented on the lasting impacts of the workshop. “It’s really good because as they have delivered to me, I can now deliver to another generation and the process is reciprocated and it goes on and on and it will last. It’s not something that has come and is finished, but… there is a follow up where they want us now to become ambassadors. For someone very young [to] have such an experience, it’s really good,” she said.
Kwakwani resident, Ms. Juanita Leacock, is looking forward to helping women in her community. “I hope to be able to go back to my community and assist other small business owners… with what I have learned… so that they can become better business persons… When I hear women go out to uplift their educational standard, I feel really proud… I hope to educate them on these things and the little things they can do to earn an income for the family. So, I guess I will start there,” she said.
The Self-Reliance and Success in Business Workshops, which are aimed at wealth generation and female empowerment, have been held in all administrative regions of Guyana since 2015 and have certified over 790 women and men. Graduates of the Training of Trainers programme will have monthly communication with Interweave Solutions and eventually facilitate their own Self-Reliance Workshops.