Blue Christmas for unpaid HEYS participants

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first_imgIt is going to be a blue Christmas for some unpaid participants of the Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) programme. HEYS participants were assured that they would receive outstanding payments owed by December.Minister within the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry Valerie Garrido-LoweMinister within the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe made the promise as she apologised to the HEYS participants who have not been paid since September.But the participants were hopeful that the payments would at least be made in time for the holidays. Several disappointed participants from Region One (Barima-Waini) related to Guyana Times their frustrations over not having that money for Christmas.This newspaper understands that residents from the Mabaruma sub-region went to the village centre just to return home with desponded souls when they were told that payment was not ready.“Many of us wasted our monies to come down to collect our stipends but were told we got to come back until Wednesday. It’s not fair,” one participant said.The beneficiaries are entitled to a monthly stipend of $30,000, but the payment plan stipulates that only $20,000 would be paid and at the end of the yearly programme, recipients would receive the remainder in bulk – $120,000.Exceptional graduates will also receive cash grants of $50,000 to be used as start-up capital for a business of their choice.Minister Garrido-Lowe conceded that there were many problems plaguing the programme and while she gave assurances that the issues would be addressed, she did not outline any concrete plans for remedying the situation.The Minister had previously explained to this newspaper that funding for the programme is not an issue but rather it’s an administrative problem which results in the participants not being paid on time.Launched in 2015 by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change, the programme currently trains in excess of 1800 students, utilising the services of some 373 facilitators across 112 Amerindian villages.last_img

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