$12M Sunrise Bakery commissioned at Capoey
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First Lady Arya Ali with the assistance of PM Mark Phillips cuts the ribbon to officially open the bakery. Also pictured are founder of Guyana Foundation, Supriya Singh-Bodden (left) and Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Mark Berman (right)
First Lady Arya Ali with the assistance of PM Mark Phillips cuts the ribbon to officially open the bakery. Also pictured are founder of Guyana Foundation, Supriya Singh-Bodden (left) and Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Mark Berman (right)

-marks new beginnings and opportunities for residents, PM Phillips says

PRIME MINISTER, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, on Friday afternoon said that the commissioning of the Sunrise Bakery at Capoey in Region Two is a significant achievement that will create new beginnings and opportunities for residents. Phillips, who was at the time delivering the feature address at a simple commissioning ceremony, noted that the $12M facility is the first of its kind in the Amerindian community. The project was executed by contractor Romesh Boodram, in collaboration with the Guyana Foundation and was funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI) and the Estate of Glynn Ludlon Hunte of the United Kingdom. This modern bakery is fully solar-powered and will supply a wide variety of breads, jams, and pastries.

The newly commissioned Sunrise Bakery at Capoey.

According to the Prime Minister, the opening of this bakery in an Amerindian community is in keeping with government’s plans to enhance the lives of hinterland residents. He said government recognises how significant the initiative is for the residents and the village’s economy. “The development of Capoey…falls within a larger picture of our government’s aims to enhance the lives of the people in our hinterland communities. As such, all initiatives that contribute to this goal are greatly applauded,” PM Phillips said in his remarks. He said the chosen name for the bakery is beautiful and suggests new beginnings and new opportunities — day and night — for the village and its residents. Noting that the establishment of the bakery may seem to be an ordinary event, he emphasised that one should see the significance of bread to many societies and cultures around the world.

The bakery’s bakers: Aleema Edwards, Zenieta Hendricks, Marlyn Henry

“Bread is one of the world’s oldest foods and has been a staple [in] many cultures over the centuries. In religious terms, bread is considered the `staff of life’ in the Bible; so for Capoey Village, the establishment means, just like the significance of its name, a time of new opportunities for sustainability and food security,” he explained to the gathering. The Prime Minister added that globally more and more countries are recognising the importance of strengthening the economies of their rural communities by increasing policies and programmes in an effort to make those economies viable. Meanwhile, High Commissioner of Canada to Guyana, Mark Berman, congratulated the Guyana Foundation and the Capoey Village Council for the initiative. Berman said Canada believes that dynamic, small economies can contribute to an increase in revenue generation which can create employment and lead to higher continued personal and household incomes that can benefit those who are economically vulnerable.

Products on display inside the bakery

The High Commissioner added that the initiative is part of Canada’s commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He said Canada is also committed to working with like-minded partners to ensure the goals and targets for gender equality are effectively implemented. With that concept in mind, the High Commissioner said the Government of Canada through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives was pleased to partner with the Guyana Foundation on the project. “It will ensure that women, particularly indigenous women, have access to equal opportunities of employment through the active participation, production, marketing and management of the Sunrise Bakery,” he added. He said the project will not only facilitate access to equal opportunities for women, but in the longer term seeks to advance economic empowerment, social empowerment, nutritious, affordable foods and sustainable local market generation at the Capoey Mission.

Founder of the Guyana Foundation, Supriya Singh-Bodden in her comments thanked the Government of Canada for approving the project and said Capoey now has some excellent bakers. She commended the efforts of the partners for affording opportunities to the women in the community who will now be self-sufficient. She said that Sunrise Bakery will be able to provide jams, cakes and breads to many residents, other communities and supermarkets at affordable prices. According to Singh-Bodden, the project has many economic benefits for the residents, as some would be able to supply eggs and other items to the shop. The Guyana Foundation provided residents with training. Toshao of Capoey, Ralph Hendricks, who was present at the ceremony, said the project was a blessing. In thanking all those involved in the partnership, he said that the community will now be able to provide bread and jams to all those who desire those items.

One of the bakers, Aleema Edwards, told the Guyana Chronicle that she is very happy to be a part of the project. She said she is more empowered and feels good that she will be able to get a job. Edwards, who said she underwent six weeks of training which included financial management, thanked the Guyana Foundation for choosing Capoey Village. First Lady, Arya Ali, was present to cut the ribbon to officially open the bakery. Region Two Chairperson Vilma De Silva was among the officials who toured the facility immediately after it was commissioned.

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