Latest update March 25th, 2023 12:52 AM
Mar 05, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – Twenty women from the Barima-Waini Region graduated on Saturday from the Atlantic Maritime and Offshore Training Institute (AAMOTI) through a scholarship programme between the Institute and the Office of the First Lady.
The graduation took place during a simple ceremony at AAMOTI’s Friendship, East Bank Demerara (EBD) on Saturday afternoon. The 20 women were the first batch of a total of 100 women who will benefit from the scholarship programme which commenced earlier this year. The women spent the last week at the institute undergoing the Basic Safety Training (BST) and Ship Security Awareness Training, a press release from the Office of the First Lady said.
In her charge to the graduates, First Lady Arya Ali said that the road ahead will not be an easy one for them due to age-old problems like gender equality. “It is never easy, especially for us women. Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is that those age old problems of gender equality are stubborn and they haven’t fully gone away,” she said, adding that there will be times when they will like people are looking right past them or seeing them for a fraction of who they really are.
“And the President and I know just how frustrating that experience can be. So for us, it is very important that we provide you with these kinds of opportunities which allow you to maximize your potential in every aspect of your lives,” Mrs. Ali noted.
She also encouraged them to chart a new course for themselves, and to create the kinds of radical changes in society that are needed to advance the cause of women. “Stay true to the most real, most sincere, and most authentic parts of yourselves. I want you to ask those basic questions: Who do you want to be? What inspires you? How do you want to give back? And then I want you to take a deep breath and trust yourselves to chart your own course and make your mark on the world,” Mrs. Ali added.
Delivering remarks at the event too, was Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag, who told the graduates that this was only part of their journey and that the next step entails them utilizing their qualifications to access employment opportunities. “The next step is to ensure you use what you now have to empower yourselves by earning an income. Guyana is moving at a rapid pace and we are happy that people like you are moving in that forward trajectory,” the Minister added.
She also drew attention to the partnership between the Office of the First Lady and the institute, underscoring how critical such partnerships are to the development of Guyana. Managing Partner of AAMOTI, Mrs. Miranda Thakur-Deen, used the occasion to thank the First Lady for recognising the importance of providing access to training opportunities to women in the hinterland. She said that part of her mission in life is to give back to women and the wider society and that is what she will ensure the Institute does.
The best graduating student, Ms. Nevaeh Clarkston, received a trophy from the Office of the First Lady, and spoke briefly about her experience and that of the other 19 women. She was keen to note that many of the women expressed that they would never have imagined that they would be able to benefit from this kind of training given the fact that they reside in the hinterland.
“So thank you to the First Lady and the school, for making this possible for us and for empowering us,” Ms Clarkston said. President of the Women in Maritime Caribbean (WiMac) – Guyana Chapter, Ms Thandi McAllister also delivered remarks at the event.
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