A new passion brings employment for Aruka River resident
Shakira Yipsam
Shakira Yipsam

SHAKIRA Yipsam is enthusiastic about many things that have been happening in her favour, and it has enhanced her life in a very meaningful way as a trained beekeeper and consultant who is training others to use the drone.

The soon-to-be 20-year-old hails from Aruka River, Region One and is the first in her family to be trained in beekeeping with Green Enterprises, mangrove honey and as a drone operator with the Barima-Mora Passage Drone Unit.

Yipsam will be among the point persons in her village when the Honey House project is realised, and she is training three others in her community on beekeeping in the afternoons.

She told the Pepperpot Magazine that she was the most proficient student from the first batch of four trainees after successful training conducted by Caliper Drones, a privately owned company.

Today, she is training 10 other girls to use the drone including those from the Imbotero Research Centre (IRC).

Ypisam stated that the training is ongoing and the representatives from Caliper Drones are present to do demonstrations for a five-day period.

She related that training others to use the drone without supervision is necessary since she cannot do it alone, and their role entails monitoring the mangrove forest the Barima-Mora Passage, which is 50,000 hectares.

“Young women supporting young women grow their droning skills is a powerful combination, and I am very pleased to be a part of it and we grow as a unit to empower each other,” Yipsam said.
She explained that in 2022, she and another young lady benefitted from an intense training programme hosted by veteran beekeeper Yimochi Melville in Mabadap, Rupununi, Region Nine.
Yipsam added that the Barima Mora Passage beekeeping trainees learn about smoking the hives and honey extraction.
She reported that beekeeping is one of several Green Enterprises being established in the massive mangrove forests in the Barima Mora Passage, which will produce excellent, high-quality honey unlike any other.

Shakira Yipsam examining cameras in the mangrove forest in the Barima-Mora Passage.
Shakira Yipsam.

Yipsam revealed that Conservation International Guyana facilitated the experiential orientation capacity of Region One.
Several young women have since been trained in beekeeping. Their hives will be in the Barima Mora Passage Mangrove forests, where the nectar of the black mangrove flowers produces premium quality honey. The new product to the organic line from the Green Enterprise initiatives are in several remote communities, thus providing sustainable employment.

Life in Aruka River
Yipsam told the Pepperpot Magazine that as a local who has spent all her life in the small riverine village, life is simple and safe there and does not see herself relocating. She added that, in Aruka River, all commuting is done via paddle boats or boats outfitted with outboard engines to make the journey faster.

Yipsam is from a family of seven siblings. Her mother is a teacher and her father is a fisherman turned poultry farmer/labourer. The young lady reported that Aruka Village is set in nature and it is the perfect place to live if you prefer natural settings.

Even though things are often difficult and inaccessible, she likes the quiet, peaceful life it brings, even as a border community.

Yipsam stated that if someone had told her three years ago she would be empowered to do things to enhance her life, she wouldn’t have believed it, but it is real and happening.

She pointed out that, today, she is a role model for others in her village and she is taking her responsibilities seriously.

Yipsam related that they live closer to Mabaruma and they do not have a lot going on in terms of high-paying jobs, but they have schools and an Information and Telecommunication Technology Hub (ICT) that enables online learning.

She disclosed that, in Aruka Village, there are more than 390 residents, mostly of Amerindian descent and also of mixed race, and they rely heavily on farming, fishing and hunting to earn a living.


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