Ministry moves for effective feedback from Amerindian communities
Guyana Chronicle
February 7, 2002

THE Ministry of Amerindian Affairs has, over the past week, moved to implement a system for effective communication and feedback from the communities with indigenous populations.

Towards that objective, Community Development Officers (CDOs) were engaged in an orientation programme financed by UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and coordinated by consultant to the Ministry, Ms Juliet Solomon.

A Government Information Agency (GINA) news bulletin said Amerindian Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues charged the participants, at the close Friday, to maintain professionalism at all times.

“You have to earn your respect. You have taken the job to work for Amerindian people and, when you go to the communities, you go as an Amerindian and anything Amerindian is your business,” she admonished the group.

Ms Rodrigues acknowledged that the Ministry cannot function effectively with all its staff in Georgetown and little link to the communities.

GINA said a major role of the CDOs is to promote the policies of the Ministry and report back progress on developmental projects, as well as problems arising in the communities.

Chief Administrative Officer in the Ministry, Mr Phillip Hamilton advised the CDOs to help with changes for development.

GINA said Mr Bryan Allicock, speaking on behalf of the trainees, said the exercise was successful and they were briefed on the Amerindian Act, the Forestry Act, the Environmental Act, the Mining Act and coursed in communication skills and data gathering, among other topics.

Those who took part in the course were selected from Regions One (Barima/Waini), Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam), Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni), Eight (Potaro/Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo).

The bulletin said Mr Vivian Fredericks will have responsibility for Amerindian communities in Regions Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara), Four (Demerara/Mahaica), Five (Mahaica/Berbice), Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) and Ten (Upper Demerara/Berbice).

The Ministry hopes to conduct regular refresher programmes and the CDOs have been requested to submit monthly reports to their immediate supervisor, Mr Lloyd Andrews, who is Principal Regional Development Officer in the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.

The CDOs, contractually employed with the Ministry, are expected to work along with the Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs).