Georgetown, Guyana – (August 10, 2017) The Ministry of Social Cohesion, today, opened a Diversity Education and Inclusion Training Workshop for Community Policing Groups (CPGs) in Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four), a target group it identifies as an important partner. Thirty-two officers, who serve in three divisions of CPGs along the East Coast Demerara, are benefiting from the two-day exercise, which is being held at the Women’s Leadership Institute at Cove and John.
Administrator for the Community Policing in Guyana, Mr. Dennis Pompey urged the participants to make full use of the sessions as it will equip them with the skills that will lead to introspection and engender empathy and which will ultimately empower them to better serve their diverse population.
“Social cohesion is something you have to start from the home before you get into the community. First, you the individual, then you take it to your home … before you take it out into the community… The only way that you could do this is we have to love ourselves, our families, then to go out there in the community and exhibit that love for your community. It’s all about people in a community living together in peace and harmony so they could develop the community. Without peace, harmony and the willingness, you cannot develop the community,” he said.
These participants pay keen attention during a working session of the Ministry of Social Cohesion’s Diversity training.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Trainer, Ms. Rolinda Kirton, who said that the session aims to help the participants to first identify their own hidden biases, which may be contributing to isolating others, before taking steps to build better relations. “You don’t just start trying to make a change for other people or for your community before you start making a change in yourself… What this is really all about is becoming more aware of how we view diversity, how we respond and where it is we want to go if we really want to have an impact on others,” she said.
Meanwhile, several of the participants said that they plan to share the knowledge that they gain from the workshop with their peers, to help them to transform their lives and communities. Chairman of Division C3, Mr. Bevan Thomas, who serves in the David Rose-Lancaster CPG, said that he decided to participate in the workshop to augment his leadership skills. “Being a family person, a community leader and a [member] of the CPG, I have a task there now to lead and filter down this [knowledge] to the groups and help the community… Social cohesion is really doing something for me that I can go out there and I can do the same for persons I have to deal with every day… It’s very useful knowledge,” he said.
Pandit Roopnarain Persaud, who is also attached to Division C3 said that he is grateful for the session as it will help him to transform his life and impact those in his environs. “Social cohesion is a very important factor for this country and for our families as well, to work together so that we can develop and we can create a space that we are comfortable in… [For me] being part of this programme here today to participate is to enhance my knowledge in being able to transform my own space so that I can create that kind of peaceful environment and development can take place,” he said.