first_imgIn excess of $700 million will be expended for the execution of Amerindian Development Projects by the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry for hinterland villages and communities in 2019.This followed the successful defence of the Ministry’s Capital and Current Budgetary Estimates in the National Assembly on Monday by Ministers Sydney Allicock and Valerie Garrido-Lowe.This sum of $235,300,000 will be invested in 215 villages and communities under the Presidential Grant Programme.Villages are expected to submit their respective project proposals in support ofMinister Sydney Allicockexisting livelihood projects; develop new economic, social and environmental initiatives; provide job opportunities for locals and increase entrepreneurial capacity as Government commitments to empowering the Indigenous peoples of this nation.In 2019, in excess of $176 million will be spent for additional support to the programme. This will be in the form of monitoring and mentorship through cluster training to ensure best practices are employed and youth receive the prerequisite skills to effectively operate and manage their business to ensure growth and sustainability.Of the sum, $12 million has been budgeted for two thousand youth to receive additional support through the acquisition of small grants of $50,000 each.Meanwhile, the construction of a $38 million Mall at Santa Rosa, Moruca, Region One (Barima-Waini) is among other economic projects on the cards.This is a 40’ x 60’ two-storey building with some $10 million allocated in 2019 to assist the village in bringing this investment to fruition.In 2017, 10 of the 11 satellites merged their respective presidential grants to commence construction, while in 2018, all 11 villages came on board for the continuation of the project, which to date, has seen the completion of itsMinister within the Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowefoundation, columns and second floor completed.At the end of 2018, $21 million would have been invested by the villages and will accommodate 40 stalls equipped with lighting and security features and an estimated monthly income of $600,000Santa Rosa will also benefit from a $40 million Ground Coffee Production project (Robusta Coffee) to supply both local and export market demands and will see some 15 farmers benefiting.Farmers have already commended land preparation as they eagerly anticipate the arrival of the beans to begin the germination process and subsequently planting of seedlings.This multi-year project has seen $10 million budgeted for in 2018, with an additional $10 million in 2019 which will cater for the construction and furnishing of the facility.Kwebanna Village is also benefiting from a multi-year cassava flour processing facility, while Smith Creek Fish and Crab Facility will also receive additional funding for its completion.This two-year project is value at over $16 million with $10 million already invested in 2018 for its construction while the second year will see an additional $6 million invested for the installation of solar panels as well as additional funds for marketing of produce.Agro processing facilities will also be established in Maruranau, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo); Food processing facility at Bina Hill, Region Nine; Paruima Fruit Farm, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni); Santa Cruz Fruit Farm, Region One; a Lapidary in Monkey Mountain, Region Eight; an Eco-Tourism project in Karasabai, Region Nine; Rest Shelters in Chenapou and Paramakatoi, Region Eight; and Parishara, in Region Nine.Warapoka Village, Region One, is also earmarked for support towards improvingThe Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministryits community-based eco-tourism initiative since the spotting of the much sought after Harpy Eagle.Five million dollars was allocated in 2018 for upgrades to two rooms at the Villages Guest House and the construction of a benab to accommodate the village office and a museum. A further $2 million will go towards completing this venture which will also aid economic activities in the village.Meanwhile, Laluni, Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and St Ignatius, in Region Nine will each receive a tractor and implements to aid in agriculture production, while the Amokokopai – Phillipai farming trail will receive a $2 million upgrade.In addition, St Deny’s/Tapakuma and Suruma trails are expected to be upgraded. Monies were also approved for construction of several bridges in various communities.Minister within the Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe during her budget presentation posited “for the past three years, since this Government took office, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs has been focusing on building the capacity of our Indigenous and hinterland people. Your Government does not believe in hand-outs. We believe in empowering people and giving them the economic support required so that they can create successful and meaningful lives for themselves”.Minister Sydney Allicock also emphasised that the vision of the Ministry for the next 20 years is to ensure that “all of Guyana’s Indigenous peoples and villages and communities are empowered to have a better quality of life now and for future generation”.The Minister added that “Budget 2019 will undoubtedly continue to ‘transform the economy, empower the people and build sustainable communities.’The House Monday last unanimously approved $1.9 billion expenditure for the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry to execute its mandate to the Indigenous peoples in 2019.last_img read more

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VAN NUYS — Thousands of Iranian-Americans celebrated the final day of Persian New Year festivities Sunday at Anthony C. Beilenson Park with a massive outdoor feast, dancing and music to bring good fortune in the coming year. “On the 13th day after the first day of spring, the Persian people get together to celebrate outdoors,” said Majid Dabiri of Granada Hills. “It has to be outdoors; otherwise you have bad luck.” “That’s right, to keep bad luck away,” echoed his wife, Azie. In what has become one of the largest Iranian-American celebrations in Southern California, a vibrant crowd of about 20,000 commemorated the end of Nowruz – the Persian New Year. Nowruz is celebrated on the 13th day of the new year, which began March 20 in Southern California. Persians celebrated in the 3,000-year-old sunrise-to-sundown tradition of Sizdeh-Bedar, marking life and renewal. For some, the celebration also included throwing grass shoots, called Sabzeh, into the waters of Lake Balboa. Iranian-Americans traditionally bring those grass shoots inside their homes to celebrate the period, but it is considered unlucky to keep them inside the home more than 13 days after the new year. For many, like Shohreh Karimi of Woodland Hills, Sunday was a great day to get together with family. “This is like Easter for us,” said Karimi. “We have 40 people here today, mostly relatives with their kids and some friends. It’s a joyous day, a celebration of hope for the coming year.” Many Iranians who had the resources settled in Southern California following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, when the Shah of Iran also fled the country. Absent from the day was any mention of current troubles in Iran and its increasingly icy relations with the United States and the main U.S. ally, Great Britain, 15 of whose sailors and marines were captured by Iran last month in the northern Persian Gulf. Instead, Bahin Bahari of Beverly Hills said, there was much for Persians to celebrate in the U.S., including the recent election of the first Iranian-American mayor of Beverly Hills. “This day is not about … about things in the news,” she said. “It’s to celebrate part of our new year. Nowruz is a very important day to us.” Organizers said they designed the celebration to emphasize the artistry and influence of Persian culture and language, with the day featuring folkloric dancing and music, games, children’s booths, vendor exhibits and all kinds of Persian food and delicacies. For a few like Mike Jetter of Valencia, the celebration continued a welcome introduction to the Persian culture. Jetter married Elie, an Iranian-American, 10 years ago, forming a mixed marriage that he acknowledges is unusual in his wife’s culture. “Love was the overriding factor,” said Jetter, who has two daughters with Elie. “It’s been unique and it’s broadened my understanding of all her culture. I’m always trying to learn as much as I can.” Among the games some men were playing was one similar to backgammon; one of the men said it dated back to 3000 B.C. Remnants of the game were found in the “Burnt City” (Shahr-e Sokhte) of Iran, he said. Although the celebration drew people from throughout Southern California, most were from the San Fernando Valley, which is home to an estimated 200,000 Iranian-Americans. Many are post-Iranian Revolution immigrants who settled in areas around Encino, Woodland Hills and Sherman Oaks in the early 1980s. “This is home now,” said Norami Karapet of Burbank, who attended the celebration with her sister Snobek. “But we also remember and celebrate where we came from.” — Tony Castro, (818) 713-3761tony.castro@dailynews.comlast_img read more