Government stands firm on its word to provide opportunities for residents of Silver Lake

A skills training programme for residents of Silver Lake was officially launched on Monday. The skills training programme is an initiative of the government of Dominicato graduate people from unemployment to work.

As stated in the 2012-2013 Budget address,”The intervention will seek to inject a sense of dignity and pride among the members of the small community enclave of Silver Lake. The assignment, once implemented, is hoped will lead to more long-term employment of these people and the lessons learned will guide the expansion of the programme in other areas.”

Hon. Gloria Shillingford, Minister for Community Development and Gender Affairs reaffirmed Government’s commitment to the residents of Silver Lake.

“This is part of Government’s continued effort at ensuring that Silver Lake is taken to the next level.  As Minister for Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs, I pledge my commitment to the empowerment and improvement of the wellbeing and the people of Silver Lake,” she said.

The Minister expressed her excitement for the participants of the programme.

“Residents at Silver Lake used to say, ‘You all are not going to come back, you are not going to bother with us, but you see you are in it and you have to be in it to win it,” she enthused.

“I am really delighted to address you this afternoon on the occasion of the formal launching of the Adult Education Programme for the community of Silver Lake.”

The Minister urged the members of the Silver Lake community to capitalise on the opportunities being afforded to them.

“I trust you will take full advantage. Silver Lake I say it again, Dake full advantage of what you are being presented with. The division offers courses in skills training, as well as academic enhancement and thus provides persons with a second chance at becoming qualified in specific areas after they have left school.  Residents of Silver Lake, today the Division has come to your doorstep.  We promised we would come and here we are today.  You are being given the opportunity to develop yourselves, personally and to become more productive citizens of this country.”

Classes will be given in the above mentioned as well as basic literacy, computer literacy, basic plumbing and electricity, sewing and food preparation and cooking.

Francisca Joseph, the field supervisor explained the overview of the programme.

“The Adult Education Division, an entity of the Ministry of Social Services is given the mandate to develop our national human resource to participate meaningfully in the development of the country and was directed to organize and implement programmes in these two identified communities.  The intervention is to include the provision of social, entrepreneurship and other requisite skills needed to function effectively in society.  The goal of this exercise is to contribute to the improvement of the productivity of the residents, social inclusion and reduction of acute poverty at least by the year 2014.”

As a result of the implementation of the programme, it is hoped that the economic and social development in the standard of living within the community will be improved and entrepreneurship skills will be enhancement or provided.

Several facilitators have come onboard to assist in the execution of this programme.

A number of prospective participants have signed up for the programme, explained Joseph.

“For computer literacy, 8 males and 10 females; for preparation pastry, 2 males and 10 females; for electricity, 13 males and 1 female; for plumbing, 5 persons; hairdressing, 6 and care of the elderly 2. The Division will collaborate with a number of organizations to facilitate the implementation of some of the other programmes that have been identified,” she said.

Adult Education Officer, Martha Andre spoke about the significance of assisting Dominicans to advance.

“This... gesture is one of the initiatives of the government to get more activities going on in those areas; to get people involved, assist people in identifying their needs and in meeting their need.  We are happy to see that people have identified a number of areas that they would be interested in pursuing skills.”

With assistance from Cuba, Andre says a lot more will be done to engage the residents of Silver Lake.

“We are hoping that we will not only pursue skills but that we will go on to do some other programmes.  There is another programme to come on stream sometime next year we’re hoping will be funded by Cuba and Venezuela that we will be able to initiate another sector in that Silver Lake area which is basic literacy.  If we start with the parents and the adults of Silver Lake, we are hoping that they can set the base for the children.”

The programme which will empower the people of Silver Lake is being administered by the Ministry of Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs along with the Adult Education Division.