Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes was honoured, today, by the National Mining Syndicates for the role she has played in ensuring small miners have a more substantial stake in the mining sector.
The event, which was held at the Herdmonston Lodge, was attended by President of the National Mining Syndicates, Cheryl Williams, Secretary, Nadezhda Stephens, other members of the body, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Maxine Graham, Director General of the Maritime Administration (MARAD), Claudette Rogers, religious leaders and residents of Parika, Sophia and Ann’s Grove.
Stephens described Minister Broomes as a ‘champion’ who opened the mining industry for young women like herself. “You have brought recognition to the smaller miners and challenged us to raise our standards of operating, our standards of being human within the industry and within Guyana,” Stephens said during her tribute.
She noted that the event recognised not only the minister’s role in the mining industry but also her efforts in the development of several communities and the country.
An emotional Minister Broomes expressed gratitude to the miners and all those who honoured her. She said that her appointment as Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources was a significant move.
“You had to have someone there who can relate, who understands and can make a difference and who is aware of the people who have been crying out for years to be recognised.”
The minister promised to continue to serve the people of Guyana and fight for the rights of those who do not have a voice.
Minister Broomes was appointed a minister in the David Granger APNU+AFC Administration in May 2015. She served briefly as Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection where she established herself as a highly effective advocate for workers’ rights, safety and health and the environment at the workplace and best practices in the industry.
A miner and businesswoman by profession, Minister Broomes was reassigned as Minister in the Ministry of Natural Resources with effect from January 2016 where her primary responsibility is to provide oversight for the maintenance of best practices in the mining sector.
Before her entry into mainstream politics, Minister Broomes was the prime mover behind the creation of the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) with the primary purpose of raising public awareness about the scourge of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) that is prevalent in Guyana’s gold-mining regions. Under her leadership, the GWMO rescued many girls and women, victims of trafficking, who were subjected to various forms of exploitation. The GWMO also became an active lobby group for the rights of small miners in the sector.
Minister Broomes’ work as an advocate against Trafficking in Persons resulted in her being honoured by the United States Government in June 2013 as a TIP Hero.