…focused placed rural communitiesEighty women from the West Coast of Berbice (Region Five) are now empowered and equipped with the skills needed to operate a small business following completion of a six-month skills training project.These women have received training in cooking, catering and sewing.The programme was conducted in groups of 40, with each given professional tutoring on the development of businesses.Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Lilian Chatterjee, IDRF’s chairman Winston Kassim, Program Manager of IDRF Nabil Ali, Director of Education and Dawah at CIOG Sheik Moeen ul Hack and Chairperson of the Rights of the Child Commission and the head of the Women’s Arm of CIOG Aleema NasirThe Women Empowerment Project, held at the D’Edward Masjid, was organised by the National Committee for Sisters’ Affairs (NACOSA), and was funded by the International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF) of Canada. It concluded on Wednesday.This was the first of two skills-based training for self-development and self-sufficiency projects organised by NACOSA to assist women to empower themselves.On Thursday, the second programme commenced for women in the Meten- Meer-Zorg community on the West Coast of Demerara. These women empowerment projects are geared to helping women become self-supportive.Speaking at Thursday’s graduation exercise, Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Lilian Chatterjee, committed the Canadian Government’s support to empowering women.80 women are attending the Meten Meer Zorg programmeAccording to the IDRF chairman, Winston Kassim, who heads the global monitoring projects, the organisation has a strong and longstanding partnership with a number of non-profit groups in Guyana, particularly the CIOG.Also attending the exercise were Program Manager of IDRF, Nabil Ali; Director of Education and Dawah at the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG), Sheik Moeen ul-Hack; and Chairperson of the Rights of the Child Commission and head of the Women’s Arm of CIOG, Aleema Nasir.According to Nasir, the programme was held for rural women from all denominations. She added that on Thursday, a similar programme was launched for women in the Meten- Meer-Zorg area of the West Coast of Demerara.She noted that another eighty women have been registered for that programme, which would also run for six months.“An important aspect of this project is the business component, where they receive training in starting and managing their own businesses… It’s a skills-based training for self-development and self-sufficiency project,” she said.Nasir said she has had interviews with some of the women from the Wales community, where many persons are out of a job, and has gotten IDRF to pay their transportation so they can attend the programme.IDRF is a Canada-based charitable organisation which was founded in 1984. It provides humanitarian aid and sustainable development assistance around the world to the poor and disadvantaged, and to those who have been displaced by natural disasters and conflict. IDRF supports the provision of basic necessities, such as food, clothing, shelter, hygiene kits, trauma counselling, clean water and medical assistance to people affected by floods, cyclones, famines and earthquakes in Japan, Pakistan, Haiti, Myanmar, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, and East Africa.Additionally, it has opened clinics, built homes, created clean water facilities, provided job skills, helped erect waste management facilities, and much more for hundreds of needy communities from Africa to Asia.