Jun 13, 2021 News
Kiaeteur News– A total of 38 students, a mixture of Venezuelan and Guyanese nationals, graduated yesterday from a cosmetology course with Diplomas in Cosmetology that was created by the United Bridge Builders Mission Inc. (UBBM), in partnership with the International Organisation for Migrants (IOM) on Friday.
Kaieteur News was present at the event, which was held at the Guyana Police Force Officer’s Training Centre, Georgetown. The course commenced on February 1, and was completed yesterday. The course was part of a programme, which saw the women being exposed to four months of cosmetology training, including hair, nail and massage therapy. The programme also incorporated psychosocial activities while the course was being conducted.
Initially, the course had started with 40 participants, 22 of which originated from Venezuela and 18 from Guyana, but two women did not complete it. According to Ms. Valentina Sologuren Blanco, the focal point of mental health and psychosocial support for IOM in Guyana, the goal of the course was to help women, in this case both Venezuelan and Guyanese women, to gain skills in order to become a part of the Guyanese market and to help give empowerment. Blanco said that the programme was very impactful and that the women generated a social network, which would help lead the social cohesion between migrants and local communities.
Valedictorian of the course, Towana Williams, told Kaieteur News that although the course came with is challenges, it was an amazing experience learning from her Venezuelan peers and fellow Guyanese alike. She stated that although she grew up in a home where cosmetology was frequently practiced; there were aspects of the skill that she was not fond of, until starting the course. Williams said that the course impacted her greatly and gave her a deeper insight into cosmetology and hopes that one day; she can own her own business within the cosmetology field.
Also at the graduation ceremony was Robert Natiello, Regional Coordination Officer for the Caribbean and Chief of Mission of IOM along with Ms. Bonita Montaque, Chief Executive Officer of the UBBM, as well as the Assistant Director of the Child Protection Agency, Ms. Tionna October. In his address to the graduates, Natiello stated, that IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. He said that the purpose of the IOM is to not only help migrants, but venerable sectors of the population within the receiving county. He further stated that it was an honor to partner with the Ministry of Human Services and Social Secu
rity as well as the UBBM, and that he values the partnership between the two.
October, in her remarks, relayed that the initiative for the programme was a course, which will prove to become valuable in the enhancement of the skill set of young women, and encouraged them to press forward and to continue to build on the knowledge they would have gained through the course.
Montaque, who oversaw the course as well as assisted in its facilitation, stated that the four months came with multiple sacrifices, but has left an impact on the lives on all that participated; she congratulated the women on completing their journey. She embraced their diversity and said that the class had proved their resolve through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The course was funded by the IOM and took place at the Beautiful U Salon located at 170 Barr Street, Kitty, Georgetown. Montaque, in her remarks, thanked the IOM along with the Ministry of Social Protection for their cooperation and ability to make the programme a success and reminded the women, that their situation is not to deter them from their path of success, and reminded them that they are not a statistic.
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