First batch of 20 women from Reg. 1 complete maritime training


After one week of rigorous training, 20 women from Region One (Barima-Waini) graduated on Saturday from a maritime training offered through a scholarship from the Office of the First Lady, Arya Ali and the Atlantic Alliance Maritime and Offshore Training Institute (AAMOTI).

They are the first batch of 100 women who are expected to benefit from the programme which commenced early this year.

They spent the past week undergoing the Basic Safety Training (BST) and ShipSecurity Awareness Training, which include various aspects such as fire safety, administration of first aid, diving and the emergency process and procedures.

First Lady Mrs Arya Ali and the best graduating student, Nevaeh Clarkston (Photo: Office of the First Lady/march 5, 2023)

Delivering the feature address at the graduation ceremony which was held at the institute’s Friendship, East Bank Demerara location, First Lady, Mrs Arya Ali told the young women that they are now qualified to benefit from opportunities in the new and emerging sectors in the country.

“There will be times when you feel like people are looking right past you or they see just a fraction of who you really are. They won’t know how hard you worked and how much you sacrificed to get to this point right now,” Mrs Ali said.

“As you leave here today, remember that you are chartering a new course…and you will be a source of inspiration…Let your strides continue to be long and strong,” the First Lady added.

And due to the “age-old” problems like gender equality, she warned them that the road ahead will not be easy.

“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,” the First Lady said.

Meanwhile, in her brief remarks, Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag told the women that earning the certificate is just a part of their journey.

“You have crossed the hurdle of achieving a certificate and it’s a great hurdle indeed because you are dedicated, you are committed, you have made it this far,” she said.

Parag acknowledged the graduates for joining the male-dominated field.

First Lady Mrs Arya Ali (Photo: Office of the First Lady/march 5, 2023)

“You are a testimony that women are strong irrespective of where we come from. Irrespective of where we have to go and you must always remember that you have crossed milestones after milestones to get where you are,” she said.

According to Parag, the country’s development is moving at a rapid pace and she is grateful that the women are moving in the trajectory.

“…You are bridging a gap…where accessibility and availability of opportunities are being made to our hinterland people…The next step is to ensure you use what you now have to empower yourselves by earning an income,” she noted.

The best graduating student of the training was Nevaeh Clarkston.

“It is very important…with the certificate I can now go ahead and further myself and be a better person and get a job,” Clarkston told reporters on Saturday.

She dreams of working in the oil and gas sector. The young women hail from various communities in Region One.

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