15 more training scholarships granted to vulnerable women


In observance of International Women’s Day today, First Lady Mrs Arya Ali has granted another 15 fully funded scholarships to vulnerable women from three local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through a partnership with the Ministry of Public Service.

At a simple ceremony held at State House, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Public Service for the latter to provide financial support which will cover the tuition, transportation, meals and uniform for the women.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Public Service

Seven scholarships were awarded to women from ChildLink, five from Red Cross, and three from Help and Shelter. The scholarships will afford these women the opportunity to pursue training at the Carnegie School of Home Economics (CSHE) for at least one year.

This is the second batch of women to be provided with training through this programme. Last year, 15 women also benefitted from the programme.

The 15 recipients of the scholarships are women who are considered to be highly vulnerable because of the conditions under which they lived or still live, and the fact that they were unable to complete the formal school system. Some are also victims of domestic violence.

“Our women require the tools that are necessary to ensure that they are able to fully participate in every sector of our economy and every sphere of life. They must be educated, trained, nurtured, mentored, financed, and supported in every possible way to guarantee their advancement; and that is what this programme seeks to do,” Mrs Ali said while delivering brief remarks at the ceremony.

She said that upon assuming office, she prioritized the needs of women, particularly the most vulnerable, and has not shied away from her responsibility of ensuring that their lives are improved through her programmes and initiatives.

“I have not shied away from my responsibility as your First Lady to ensure that I facilitate the provision of opportunities to our women to support their personal and professional development,” the First Lady said, adding that there is an urgent need to reverse any widening of the gender gap.

“Today, with my sister in arms, Minister Sonia Parag, and the Ministry of Public Service, I am very happy that we are able to provide these women with a window of opportunity to empower themselves and positively impact those around them,” the First Lady added.

Mrs Ali also highlighted that when more women enter the labour market and are able to work, economies grow.

“Women’s economic empowerment boosts productivity, increases economic diversification and income equality in addition to many other positive development outcomes,” she stated.

Meanwhile, Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag, expressed how proud and happy she was to be part of such an initiative.

“I am proud of the work that we are doing, because it is creating the kind of positive change that we need today. The Ministry stands ready to support the development of our people, particularly those who are most in need,” Minister Parag said.

The Minister took pride in sharing that since taking office, government continues to record success in its efforts to reduce the gender gap.

On Saturday, 20 women from the Barima-Waini Region graduated from the Atlantic Alliance Maritime and Offshore Training Institute (AAMOTI) through another fully funded scholarship programme between the institute and the Office of the First Lady.

One hundred women from the hinterlands are expected to be trained this year through that programme. (Press release from Office of the First Lady)

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