“I have changed because I have learnt so much”

-Young women seizing opportunities with Critchlow life skills programme

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Critchlow Labour College in collaboration with USAID has been providing lessons to young people related to life skill opportunities.

The programme began in January 2018 with 125 students, mostly young females who did not complete their secondary education and are simply interested in elevating themselves through life skills acquirement. The programme initiative was inspired by a study which showed that “at-risk youth” in Guyana were lacking opportunities in training in areas such as agriculture, business, carpentry, electrical engineering and decoration design.

Women seated in class.

Among them is 24-year-old Nickcasie Paul who said she had heard about the programme from her cousin-in-law. She immediately saw it as an opportunity to develop herself  Although she intends to learn how to become an entrepreneur in order to run her own fast food business, Nickcasie has additionally learnt information technology skills Now I’ll be able to be somebody in my family as a woman who has learnt how to build a house and I also like that I learnt about electrical engineering too. I can now fix wires in my house, so if something is damaged, I can now repair it.”

Nickcasie Paul.

Venita Braithwaite has also felt empowered through the programme:  “I have changed because I have learnt so much and now, I can also share so much. Now I can be a businesswoman, I can do interior decorations. Who thought that a woman could do that, everybody thought that it was a man’s field but now as a woman, I can give my views and ideas.”

Venita Braithwaite.

The programme starts in September and runs to April.  After graduating, students will be monitored in their new work environment to be considered as qualified to benefit from the support provided by the Critchlow Labour College and USAID to elevate themselves to a higher level of education.

Apart from providing life skills programme to provide the youth with a second chance in Education, the Critchlow Labour College is offering a new curriculum.

Female student.

In 2017, the institution conducted a review of their curriculum to provide skills for more demanding opportunities in the job sector, with a consideration of preparing Guyanese for the new a prospect. Consequently, the college was split into three sections; The Critchlow Labour College Centre for Business Excellence, The Critchlow Labour College Centre for Agricultural Studies and the Oil and Gas Centre.

Alleya Hamilton.

Images: Ameer Sattaur.

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