A wide cross-section of Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region 10) youth lauded Sunday’s community consultation led by Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr.
Minister McCoy said the Watooka Guest House meeting was designed to channel issues and concerns facing the region into the National Assembly.
“It comes just before the budget presentation. So, the information they have been able to share with us – the discussions they had with us – we can … find, based on the considerations and the priorities, many of them in the budget submissions, in the budget presentation for 2021,” the Minister stated.
Meanwhile, Minister Ramson Jr reminded the residents that the engagement was intended to help them establish sustainable communities and not to score political points.
The Minister stated that “the election is over. You have a new Government. We have to get on with the business of development.” Several of the attendees welcomed the outreach.
Alliyah Dey of the Coomacka Mines community added, “I think it is a very great opportunity for youths to actually come out and instead of sitting down at home and doing nothing, they actually have the opportunity to come out and greet with Ministers and share their ideas on what they think shall be good for them and also help with the development of their community.”
The young woman was accompanied by her cousin, Deshawnna Dest, who not only described the consultation as “interactive” but voiced her support for collaborative action.
Another youth, Akeila Handy, who resides in Linden, was optimistic the engagement would lead to changes in her community.
“I think that it was a very good idea for them to come out and speak to the people of Linden because there are several factors which are hindering success in the community and now that our voices are heard, we feel more comfortable and feel relaxed that we actually know something is going to happen.”
For Mr Curt Murphy of Ituni, the meeting “is a good initiative by the Ministers… I think it gave everyone the opportunity to say exactly what is it that they need.”
The meeting captured a range of issues, from infrastructural to social, and came on the heels of the inaugural outreach within the region spearheaded by President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali just two weeks ago.
The Ministers were accompanied by other officials who facilitated the discussions.