CURRICULUM VITAE - VIOLA VICTORINE BURNHAM nee HARPER
1930 Born in the Colony of British Guiana, now the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.
1967 Married Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, Prime Minister and later President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. Mother of two daughters and one son.
1985 Widowed – after the death of the President.
1958 B.A Hons. (Latin). London University, United Kingdom
1963 M.A. (Education) University of Chicago, United States of America.
Member Pi Llambda Thera Honour Society, University of Chicago.
Work Experience – Journalism, Teaching, Farming:
1949 – 1950 Newspaper Reporter of the “Daily Argosy”.
1950 - 1954 Primary School Teacher: Broad Street Government School.
1958 – 1962 July Secondary School Teacher (Latin) B.H.S.
1963, Sept.- 1967
1967 Present Small farmer: Crops and Livestock.
1968 Participant in crash course in Crop-Husbandry and Livestock-Rearing, Mon Repos School of Agriculture.
1971 Established co-operative rice cultivation project: “Dynamic Youth Farmers Co-operative” including co-operative housing scheme for members.
1972 Coordinator of a Rural Training Course for rice farmers.
Work Experience – Politics:
1976 Present Chairman, Women’s Revolutionary Socialist Movement with special responsibility for women’s economic projects.
1976 Member of the Central Executive Committee, People’s National Congress, (Representative of the W.R.S.M.)
1983 Member of the Central Executive Committee – People’s National Congress (elected).
1985 Appointed Vice-President and Deputy Prime minister with responsibility for Education, Social Development including Women’s Affairs and Culture.
1985 December Elected Member of the National Assembly of Guyana.
1988 Chairman of the Sixth Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ministers of Education and those responsible for Culture of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Georgetown, Guyana.
1989 Chairman of Guyana Commemoration Commission responsible for events and ceremonies marking the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation of Slavery and of the arrival of the first East Indian Immigrants.
1989 Appointed Vice-President, Ministry of Culture and Social Development with special responsibility for women, children and young persons, and the administration of the Social Impact Amelioration Programme component of Guyana’s Economic Recovery programme.
Work Experience – Women’s Affairs – 1967:
1967 First Vice Chairman, Women’s Revolutionary Socialist Movement.
1970 Founder Member and First Vice President of the Caribbean Women’s Association (CARIWA).
1976 Chairman – W.R.S.M.
Leader of the Guyana delegation to the Biennial Conferences of CARIWA.
1972 – First in St. Kitts-Nevis
1974 – Second in Grenada
1976 – Third in Trinidad & Tobago
Presented paper on “The Role of Women in Politics”
1982 – Sixth – St. Kitts-Nevis – Presented paper, “Women on the Move”
Leader of the Guyana delegation to the World Conference of the United nations Decade for Women.
1975 – Mexico City, Mexico
1980 – Copenhagen, Denmark
1985 – Nairobi, Kenya
1977 Involved in planning and implementation of 15 Women’s Projects.
1984 Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors-Vanceram Tableware Factory Ltd. Guyana (Project of the W.R.S.M.)
Work Experience – Children & Health:
1963 Founder Member and Secretary, Guyana Mental Health Centre.
1967 Member, John Birch Society (Advisory to Government on matters pertaining to juvenile delinquency and prisoners’ rehabilitation).
1968 Member of Children’s Welfare and Maternity Committee of the Georgetown Municipality.
Member of Hospital Administration Committee.
Member of Interviewing Panel for applicants for training course in Public Health Nursing.
1976 Planning and Implementation of an Education Programme for young children – birth to 14 years (complementary to the formal education system).
1979 Chairman – Guyana national Commission of International Year of the Child.
1980 Patron, Guyana Commission for Children’s Welfare.
1982 W.R.S.M. – Service to women 25th Anniversary Celebrations – silver medal
G.T.A. – Service in Education 100th Anniversary Celebrations – gold pin
1984 Vanceram – Service during installation and commissioning of Factory – gold pin.
Guinea – National Award
Bulgaria – National Award
1984 Guyana – Order of Roraima – 2nd Highest National Award
Writer of several papers & publications.
People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Friday, October 10, 2003
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