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Pres. Ali launches programme to empower girls with self-defence skills


President Dr Irfaan Ali has organised free self-defence classes for young girls to protect and empower themselves in a “changing world”. Women and girls are more likely to be victims of violence and abuse and the Girls-Only Self Defence Programme will also have interactive sessions with the Head of State, government ministers and other leaders in society.

“We are living in a changing world, a world where we must teach some elementary skills very early to children.

“So one of the initiatives we planned for this August holiday is to help our children…that this the girls under 13 Self Defence Programme,” President Ali said at the launch of the programme at State House in Georgetown on Saturday.

The programme is open to the public; it will run three times weekly for one month at State House. The self-defence classes will be done by four instructors from the Guyana Mix Martial Arts Federation.

Due to the overwhelming response to the programme, President Ali said it can potentially be extended all across the country.

“It is not only self-defence training that we will be doing. We will spend brief time every day that they are on this programme to talk to them, to use leaders in our society to leave positive messages with them and every session we will have cabinet ministers, people like the [police] commissioners, Fire Chief, career diplomats, ambassadors to speak with them, to build their self-confidence, to let them know they are part of a world that cares,” President Ali said.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jnr. added that the girls will also be given the chance to explore their futures.

“We are trying to a build a country, unite the country…the future is yours, that is why we are trying to provide that platform for you to achieve it,” Minister Ramson Jnr. said.

Meanwhile, President Ali revealed that another programme – the Art of Life – programme will launch sometime in the new week.

“We will bring children – boys and girls – together, to paint and learn art, right here at State House,” the President said.

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