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African villages told education, business among keys to success

Moves are afoot to revitalize African village movements by encouraging them to blending education, economics and good social habits to create sustainable communities.

Encouraged by their successes in Linden, Buxton and Plaisance, Political activists Aubrey Norton and David Hinds are continuing their crusade in other villages- the latest being at Melanie Damishana, East Coast Demerara on Friday night.

“I am suggesting that our development is dependent on ourselves and if we mix education with economics, we will do well,” said Norton, a one-time General Secretary  for the African-dominated Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR).

Norton also urged the gathering to inculcate good habits such as reading, saving and fatherhood. He criticized fathers who do not pay attention to their children even if they do not have money.

He challenged the small but attentive gathering to ensure that they become part of their children’s lives and offer them the male image in the home. “Men have got to move from becoming sperm donors to active participants in the lives of their children,” he said.

Norton urged members of the African Guyanese village to promote reading and education among their children rather than a routine of watching television.

“We must first of all identify the good habits we want to inculcate for ourselves and our children and then work to let them inculcate it,” he said.

Hinds, in his remarks, announced that plans were in train to acquire funds for community self-sustaining projects. He also revealed that a home-work centre would be established at Melanie Damishana to assist students to complete their homework. Hinds noted the grave disparity in academic performance between African and Indo-Guyanese, a seeming reversal from the era when Blacks were high performers.

Other strong recommendations made by Norton included inculcating the habit of saving and the creation of businesses such as the establishment of baker-shops.

“We have to find ways and means of ensuring that we save and use that saving for development,” he said.

The long-time politician and academic said that while people can blame the government, residents must be responsible for their own development. At the same time, he said the government should be pressured to deliver the required goods and services to communities.