I HAVE been observing the selfless act of community development done under the auspices of the Women of Substance Organisation. It was formed about one year ago by a group of women mainly from Henrietta on the Essequibo Coast and whose membership is gradually increasing.
One of their primary and ongoing projects is to clean, maintain and beautify the community of Henrietta. They have also heightened the awareness among other villages to replicate their concept. In fact, the irresponsible manner in which receptacles are being disposed of is creating insurmountable challenges to the Anna Regina town council and the Regional Administration of Region Two.
To date several irrigational channels remain clogged, which is leading to flooding in many instances. It is therefore quite pleasing to witness the women in action and in collaboration with other volunteers literally weeding the accumulated bushes along the street-ways, removing the rejected plastic bottles from the drains and duly sensitising the residents to act responsibly in preserving the environment. I am also impressed with their stimulating drive to educate the community which I am optimistic will provide positive results. They have been engaging the youths during their recess from classroom teachings and this being done by teachers within the group.
The nonprofit organisation is also providing the necessary tools for its membership to gain entrepreneurial skills, which has led to the group promoting fund-raising activities on a regular basis to sustain and develop their financial status. They have also invited professionals to provide lectures as a means of empowering them culturally, socially and financially. Notably several members of the group were active participants and were among the float parades during the mashramani day celebrations in Essequibo. Their significantly attractive flair and inventive designs were memorable scenes to behold.
The movement is growing in stature and one which is becoming a model to be emulated, especially by other villages whereby women are willing to rise above the barriers of gender inequality. While their passage of dutiful patronage is being recognised, it is also of significance that the regional administration has supported their cause by providing a rehabilitated building in which they can formally meet in Henrietta and which is also being used for their promotional and educational activities.
The Region therefore will be much richer in institutional and capacity-building through the remarkable strides of the Women of Substance in Region Two.