Tag Archives: SCPDA

What Am I Doing Here? Part II

22 Jun

“Here” = several villages in the South Central and South Rupununi at the moment.

I am currently travelling with teams of facilitators for the Management Plan Dissemination workshop. This project, in a nutshell, involved the collection of data regarding all aspects of Amerindian communities.
SCPDA, with cooperation from the South and South Central District Toshoas Council, did some research, consultation, and documentation of Amerindian traditions, cultures, and practices regarding things like the use of fire, ranching, farming, and sacred sites, to name a few.

Management PlanFindings were summarized and written into a document known as the Management Plan. It was created in response to a question posed to the Amerindian people:

“If we grant communities their proposed land extensions, how will they manage and develop their land?”

This Management Plan, “Baokopa’o wa di’itinpan wadauniinao ati’o nii (Thinking together for those coming behind us)” (in Wapishana and English), answers that question and details how Amerindians in South Central and South Rupununi will take care of their land and natural resources.

It was printed in the UK and sent to SCPDA to distribute to the 17 communities involved in community consultations. Detailed maps depicting titled lands, proposed land extensions, village areas, rivers, creeks, proposed community protected areas, and more were also created and printed.

A brochure is available for viewing/download here.

With the Management Plan document and maps, the Amerindian people are justifying their proposed land extensions, addressing the issue of protecting the natural resources around them, and promoting the preservation of their culture.

SCPDA has two teams of facilitators doing presentations on the contents of the Management Plan to all 17 communities.
So what does this mean for me? It means a LOT of travelling until the end of the month, collecting data on Women’s Groups in different villages, and report writing. Whee!

What Am I Doing Here?

3 Jun

I ask myself that question every day.

I’m not asking because I don’t know. I’m asking because I’m still amazed that I’m here in Guyana.

If you asked me a year ago whether I’d pick up and move to another country, I would’ve said “I’d love to, but…” and gave you a string of excuses like work, money, time, etc.

If you asked me a year ago whether I ever wanted to visit Guyana, I would’ve said “Well, I’m sure it’s a lovely place, but…” and gave you a list of countries I want to visit instead.

If you asked me a year ago whether I’d love to live and work in Guyana, I would’ve given you a blank stare as I wondered why you were asking me such a random question.

But I can now answer that random question.
The answer is yes (did you guess correctly?)
And now to answer the question I am constantly asked:

“What are you doing here [in Guyana]?)

South Central People's Development AssociationWell….I am based in Shulinab Village and I work with a non-governmental organization (NGO) called the South Central People’s Development Association (SCPDA) which operates to serve 17 communities (Amerindian villages) in the South Central and South Rupununi. To you, this may/can be known as the rural part of Guyana in Region 9.

Here are the things I am/will be doing (with brief descriptions):

  • Working with women’s groups – teaching financial skills (e.g. bookkeeping and budgeting), teaching & learning different crafts (e.g. embroidery and bead jewelry), and researching the challenges facing women’s groups (e.g. consistent and active participation, leadership issues)
  • Working with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) – teaching financial skills (e.g. bookkeeping and budgeting)
  • Working with Individuals – who need financial skills (e.g. bookkeeping and budgeting).

Oh, you noticed a common theme? Could it be… bookkeeping and budgeting?

My official title is Enterprise Development Advisor. Yes, it’s a very vague title…but it means I can do anything related to business development (freedom! sort of…) I do have a speciality.

I teach financial skills to communities that request assistance in this field. I usually teach basic skills in bookkeeping (keeping accounts and ledgers in order, how to keep good records, how to create monthly statements) and budgeting for personal/household finances and for CBOs that spend money on inventory, supplies, and equipment.

Women's Group in Aishalton

I’m also trying to focus on working with Women’s Groups so that women can generate income for their families and have a solid support group should they need it.
Click on the picture above to check out the objectives of the Aisharatoon Women’s Association (the women’s group located in Aishalton village, South Rupununi).

I won’t bore you with nitty gritty details (I don’t think you care about my workshop material, for example), but if you would like to know or have any questions be sure to drop me a comment or an email. :)