Remarks by Ambassador Lynch at Orientation and Mobility Program Launch

Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
Orientation and Mobility Program Launch
November 9, 2021

Her Excellency Arya Ali,
United Nations Resident Coordinator Yesmin Oruc,
Country Manager for Exxon Mobil, Alister Routledge,
Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security Shannielle Hoosein-Outar,
Members of the diplomatic corps,
Members of the media,
Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning. I am very pleased to be with you today for the launch of this important program. Thank you to the Council of Organizations for Persons with Disabilities for this initiative, and to Exxon Mobil for its contribution. Building independent lives for and empowering persons with disabilities is not only a U.S. priority, but the level of participation in today’s event seems like we all agree on this. It’s an essential part of Guyana’s vision of priority for all.

The U.S. Embassy is committed to empower persons with disabilities, and we are happy to partner with anyone here today in this regard. It’s partners like Ganesh Singh, though, President of the Council, and the members of the Council, who we would advocate should lead these efforts. The Embassy Public Affairs Section has a small advisory group of persons with disabilities, who advise us on the programs that would most benefit this population in Guyana. This week we are launching an employment training program for persons with disabilities to practice their interview skills, prepare their resumes, and build their confidence. It will be co-taught by one of the advisors, Rosemarie Ramitt, to build leadership and sustainability in the community. We also have plans to launch a financial literacy course in the near future.

And while programs like this are needed to build confidence and life skills, I would advocate that any development program, whether it be related to agriculture or entrepreneurship, from leadership development to education, there should always be consideration for the diversity of the participants, to include persons with disabilities. As Ganesh has said before, persons with disabilities are not looking for a handout. They want an equal playing field, with equal opportunity. The U.S. is proud of the leadership made by the Commission, and looks forward to further development through this and other programs. Thank you very much.