By Leah HernandesThe high rate of social ills in Guyana’s youthful population, especially the incarceration and unemployment of young people, is expected to be reduced significantly in the coming years as the Government of Guyana launches its Youth Corps.The aim of the Youth Corps is to eradicate unemployment and ultimately the incarceration of young people via education, empowerment, equality, and employment.This was disclosed by President David Granger, who was at the time delivering the feature address at the much-anticipated launching ceremony at the Kuru Kuru, Linden-Soesdyke Highway on Thursday.During his address, the President acknowledged that Guyana’s youthful population, over the past years, has been plagued by a number of difficulties especially with the incarceration of over 500 youths.“We acknowledged that the dropout rates from primary and secondary schools; the migration rate of university graduates; the rate of teenage pregnancies and the rate of youth incarceration – with more than 500 young people within our prisons and correctional institutions . These rates must be reduced and if possible, eliminated ….Youth unemployment, as at December 2017, stood at 22.9 per cent. One in every three young persons, between the ages of 15 and 24, is not in education, employment, or in training (NEET). This is an unacceptable situation,” the President stated.The unveiled plaque commemorating the eventHe, nevertheless, reassured students and other young people that with the launch of the Guyana Youth Corps and the guidance of the national youth policy, their talents would be boosted and opportunities for self-actualization widened, noting that overall this would contribute to national development.“This vision emphasises the four cornerstones of our national youth policy – education, equality, empowerment and employment. The energy of young people is evident everywhere. Their enthusiasm and exuberance cannot be restrained or repressed. The Corps will amplify their talents and expand the opportunities for self-actualisation,” the Head of State said.Meanwhile, Social Cohesion Minister, Dr George Norton, during his brief remarks, reiterated that the Youth Corps was geared at enhancing the lives of young Guyanese and showed Government’s commitment to strengthening the country’s youthful population.President David Granger (centre) and Government Ministers pose for a picture with students of the Kuru Kuru Training Centre“As we launch the Guyana Youth Corps, a comprehensive initiative geared at enhancing the lives of young Guyanese by encouraging them to take charge of their future throughout the length and breadth of Guyana. Since taking office in 2015, your government had strengthened and pioneered to educate and empower you, the youths of this country,” Dr George said.The Guyana Youth Corps was first established on January 1, 1968 as a means of solving the youth unemployment problem. It operated for seven years, during which time, approximately 1200 youths benefited from the programme. The Youth Corps was then absorbed by the National Service on January 1, 1975, which itself was dismantled in 2000.Under the new programme, youths will be trained for one year. The levels of training will include apprenticeship, traineeship and internship, and the programme will span all 10 Administrative Regions. However, the main office and campus will be at the Kuru Kuru Training Centre.The auspicious event was commemorated by the unveiling of a plaque and was graced by the presence of Government Ministers, including Education Minister Nicolette Henry, Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock, and Social Cohesion Minister, Dr George Norton among others.
On August 29, 2019, Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr Riyad Insanally and President of the United Guyanese Diaspora Global Network, Corp (UGDGN), Wayne Forde, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Embassy of Guyana in Washington, DC.According to a release from the Embassy, the primary aim of this MoU is to enhance cooperation between the Embassy and UGDGN – an umbrella body for Guyanese Diaspora organisations in the USA, aimed at strengthening engagement between the Government of Guyana and the Guyanese Diaspora.In his remarks, Ambassador Insanally expressed delight at signing the MOU, almost exactly a year after initial discussions between the two sides began, noting that it was a necessary step in establishing more structured and systematic engagement between the Government and the Diaspora.Forde, in his remarks, thanked Ambassador for facilitating the signing of the MoU and stated that UGDGN was looking forward to working closely with the Embassy, particularly in providing much-needed assistance to school children in Guyana, among other areas, as part of its efforts towards “Building Bridges to a Brighter Future for Guyana”.Forde also highlighted the fact that earlier in 2019, UGDGN had signed a MoU with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to collaborate on projects that would produce a positive impact for Guyana. In addition, UGDGN is planning the first Guyanese Diaspora Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurship Conference for 2020.The signing ceremony was witnessed by several members of UGDGN and Staff of the Embassy.