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Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira has commended the work of EQUAL Guyana, a non-governmental human rights organisation which advocates for the respect and acceptance of the LGBTQ community and its allies.
Minister Teixeira was speaking on Monday at a simple ceremony held to mark the signing of a project between the High Commission of Canada and EQUAL Guyana. The project is titled, “Promoting Gender Equality with the focus of establishing LGBTQ rights through engagement, education and empowerment.”
It will be executed by EQUAL Guyana with support from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI). “We have not made many of the changes that many other countries of the world have made. However, I believe firmly in the three principles that EQUAL Guyana is also promoting, the whole idea of engagement, education and empowerment.
I think those are three critical tools and foundations upon which we can reduce prejudice, we can reduce ignorance, we can reduce intolerance in our society,” Minister Teixeira said.
EQUAL Guyana was commended for its plan to provide mental health counselling among other services throughout the project. The group was also encouraged to reach out to a wide cross-section of society to effect the changes it wishes to see.
Meanwhile, Canadian High Commissioner, His Excellency Mark Berman said the work of the NGO through CFLI is necessary. “Our support to EQUAL through this project highlights the necessity for more dialogue to encourage change in attitudes and promote inclusivity. Changing perceptions is never easy, but the key to success is persistence,” the High Commissioner said.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of EQUAL Guyana, Mr. Anil Persaud highlighted some of work of the body will pursue through the project. “Our new project will be among other things, providing more education to five groups from different key sectors, building more conflict resolution and peace building skills among youth, exploring public education’s campaign to provoke thought and dialogue,” he said. The group will also use the arts as a tool for education for the duration of the one-year project. Senior members of EQUAL Guyana and staff of both the High Commission of Canada and the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance attended the project signing. (DPI)