Girls-Only Self-Defence Class an important component of ‘One Guyana’ initiative- President Ali 

His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali and First Lady Mrs Arya Ali introduced the Girls-Only Self-Defence Class under the ‘One Guyana’ initiative today at State House.

The programme, which caters for girls 11-18 years of age, is designed to not only teach the art of self-defence, but to impart lifelong skills, discipline and assist in improving their self-confidence.

The Head of State noted that these skills are important in producing the next cadre of leaders of Guyana. He said that outside of individual development and improvement of skills, it will also promote camaraderie, which is an important pillar of the ‘One Guyana’ initiative.

The classes will be held at State House and will be facilitated three times weekly during August. Four instructors will administer sessions in manageable groups.

“What we want to do is to open up State House to all of Guyana because the children of Guyana must grow up knowing that this house also belongs to them.”

More than 300 young ladies have already registered for this new initiative.

The young ladies will also be given the opportunity to interact with members of the Cabinet during their lessons. The Head of State said that with the involvement of the Ministers and the senior members of the Guyana Police Force as well as other role models, the young participants will also be given the opportunity to learn other life skills during these interactions. 

He assured the parents that the best possible care will be taken of their children during the programme.

“We will work to ensure that they are very well taken care of. We are going to be with you in this programme. I am so happy to see all of you and I want you to know that in building this strong, united ‘One Guyana’, this is perhaps one of the most important initiatives … bringing young girls together and allowing you this opportunity to grow and to understand self-defence.”

President Ali also announced the intention to expand the programme to other regions given the overwhelming response.

Meanwhile, another initiative that will soon be launched is the Art of Life Programme, which will cater to boys and girls and teach them art and craft.


The President explained that the First Lady has been working intensely on initiatives all across the country to help improve the prospects for young girls and women.

“We are working on a number of programmes. Minister Charles is working on a number of programmes for young people in various categories.”  These include a swimming programme and the introduction of a talent development programme to produce outstanding performers from Guyana.

The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, the Honourable Charles Ramson Jr; the Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, the Honourable Susan Rodrigues, senior members of the Guyana Police Force, the instructors as well as the young female participants of the self-defence course and their parents were all gathered for the introduction ceremony.

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