Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Press Release

Twenty-three-year-old Ananias Stephen a single father from the village of Aishalton, Deep South Rupununi, Region 9, is determinedly working to change the trajectory of his life to one of great success.

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Ananias who is a participant of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Flagship Youth Program the Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) programme operates a mobile barbershop in the village.

He says barbering has long been his passion and when the HEYS initiative was introduced there (Aishalton) he made good on the opportunity.

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“I have been doing this since I was twelve but I didn’t have any tools. So, when the HEYS came, I learnt a lot. I realized I could get this profession up and going. And when I received my money, I bought my tools and started my business.”

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Stephen credited the longevity of his business to the tremendous support he has been receiving from the village noting that “I usually cut a lot of hair when it is school time. Everyone comes to me to have their hair cut, so I am busy.”

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Aishalton, barber, Ananias Stephen and his two-year-old Delevan Stephen
HEYS beneficiary and Aishalton, barber, Ananias Stephen cutting the hair of client
Ananias Stephen displays the newly acquired barbering set and a backup power supply purchased with his HEYS stipend

When asked about the effects of the off-peak season on his business, Ananias explained: “it is a mobile barbershop so I carry all my tools in a bag.” He explained that sometimes he would go near the snackette operated by a friend and right here he would find clients or sometimes he would receive calls from customers whom he would visit.

The single father to two-year-old Delevan Stephen acknowledged that although it can be challenging at times “I have my son; I have to take care of him. My parents also assist me, I live with them here and sometimes when the barbering is slow, I will do some carpentry work to bring the extra money.” He noted that “all this is for my son”.

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Stephen who was among twenty HEYS participants from the village said he was grateful to the Government for rolling out a programme that seeks to empower the young people all across the country. He remains optimistic that in a couple of years he will be the proud owner of a comfortable shop with all its amenities.

The twenty-three-year-old would also like to be an example to the other youths in the village to never give up and strive to achieve whatever they ambition.

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Meanwhile, he recently received his stimulus grant of fifty thousand dollars and immediately purchased a complete barbering set and a backup power supply.

The HEYS Programme continues to empower indigenous youth all across the Hinterland with an investment of approximately $2.3Billion by the Government, numerous success stories are being told.

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