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.
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.
“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.”
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.”
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”.
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.
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.