The Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) and the communities of Warapoka, Kwebana, and Santa Rosa in Guyana’s Moruca Sub-Region have commissioned four projects aimed at improving the lives of indigenous peoples in the area. With assistance from the French government’s Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects (SFIP), the projects that were funded include a 480 ft bridge, a solar drier, a biking tour, and a canoeing experience.
The communities identified the projects and submitted proposals to the APA for funding under the SFIP grant’s livelihoods component. The SFIP grant included advocacy, capacity building with District Councils, protection of the environment, and livelihoods. Honorary Consul of the French Republic to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Jean-Francois Gerin, and Resident Representative of the French Ambassador to Suriname and Guyana, Pierre Gaté, were present at the commissioning.
During his address at the commissioning ceremonies, Honorary Consul Gerin expressed the French Government’s pleasure in supporting the projects, noting that it would continue to collaborate with organizations to execute similar projects across the country. Meanwhile, Resident Representative Gaté said that these were the first livelihood projects that the French Government had executed in Guyana, and they were warranted since the communities identified them.
As part of the project, teams from the villages were trained in proposal writing, project management, and budgeting. Executive Director of the APA, Jean La Rose, expressed her gratitude to the French Government for funding the initiative and the project teams for ensuring timely and successful completion. She also challenged the villages to build on their projects, noting that the APA would continue providing technical assistance to facilitate the development of ideas.
Warapoka Village commissioned a 480 ft bridge at Troolie Hill to the tune of $4.09M, connecting residents to their farmlands and tourists to the Harpy Eagle nesting site. The community designed and constructed the bridge with materials sourced from their lands. Toshao Jaremy Boyal said that the construction of the bridge was on the village’s agenda for a long time, and when they became aware of the funding opportunity, they immediately capitalized on it. The bridge benefits the 13 families farming in the Troolie Hill area, who used to access their farms by crossing on logs placed over the swampy area at the source of the Warapoka Creek.
In Kwebana Village, the Kwebana Arapah Flour Enterprise proposed the procurement and installation of a solar drier as its livelihood project. The $5.57M solar drier will be used to dry cassava to process it into flour. Toshao Troy Peters expressed his gratitude to the French Government and the APA for the support.
The APA’s Executive Director, Jean La Rose, said that it was the first time her organization had done livelihood projects and was pleased with the response from both the donors and beneficiaries. She noted that the communities had been asking for livelihood projects, and when the APA was approached by the French Government informing them of the funds’ availability, they took the opportunity to facilitate those requests.