ICT Hub for Baramita

Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Sydney Allicock (right) stands near the completed cubicles

RESIDENTS of Baramita Village, in Region One (Barima-Waini) will soon benefit from an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Hub through the efforts of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications.

This was announced during a recent visit of Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Sydney Allicock to the village where he interacted with residents about the plan.

Already, the Village Council, led by Toshao Sharmaine Rambajue, has been outfitted with 15 cubicles for computers which will be installed by the National Data Management Authority (NDMA) under the Public Telecommunications Ministry.

Speaking on the imminent completion, Minister Allicock stated: “The Hub is a necessity at this time for development and especially for the teachers and the students but what is needed is more technical training at a simpler level so that they can grow because this has been a community that has been neglected for so long and they have now been given the opportunity of access to better quality education”.

Baramita, the village with the largest Carib population in Guyana of some 4,000, has been plagued for years with alcoholism, suicide, sexual and domestic abuse.

Since the coalition government took office in 2015, an inter-Ministerial Task Force was established by President David Granger to address those issues. To date, significant strides have been made to ensure the village can enjoy social and economic benefits, similar to the rest of Guyana.

Allicock said that he is confident that residents of Baramita have the potential to build on this by ensuring their own development. “We have seen that they can really do well if given the chance and I am very happy that it [the ICT Hub] is in that area and it is for us to continue to give the support needed until they can be able to be on their own in managing the facility and making good use of it in business and other areas of need,” he said.

A careful assessment revealed that children in the community are now benefitting from scholarships while plans are in place for the revision of the curriculum under the Ministry of Education. One student from the village is currently attending the Guyana Industrial Training Center (GITC) while two youths participated in the Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) Program, with each having established successful businesses.

Other notable strides made were the establishment of a Youth Club by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) which attracted over 100 young people who were sensitized on health and wellbeing and the negative effects of substance abuse and lack of education.

The Ministry of Social Cohesion also played an active role by deploying one of its most experienced football coaches to the community, Gordon Brathwaite, who believes that sport can be a stimulus to bring about the much-needed change.

The Ministry of Agriculture and National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) are also working with residents who are interested in farming and so far several have received a quantity of planting materials.

Residents have also received training in poultry production from the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) and are preparing to establish small farms of their own. The ICT Hub also fits into the village’s developmental plans along with its draft Village Improvement Plan (VIP) which was recently handed to Toshao Rambajue and will serve as an important instrument for development over the next three years.

The document was compiled by the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs following consultations with villagers who are now tasked with perusing the same and making changes if necessary.

Another significant milestone which was accomplished was the completion of Baramita’s draft Village Rules (document) which was also handed over to the Ministry. The village’s Toshao is confident the rules will restore law and order.