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Minister Baksh opens Inaugural Senior Citizens Parliament

General News
Minister Baksh welcomes Minister of the People and Social Development, Dr. the Hon. Glenn Ramadharsingh. At right is Speaker of the House, Senator, the Hon. Wade Mark. Also looking on at left is Margaret Farray, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Community Development

A Cross section of the Senior Citizen Parliamentarians during the debate

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Minister Baksh's Message for International Day of Peace

General News

Message of Peace for the International Day of Peace September 21st 2011 by the Honourable Nizam Baksh Minister of Community Development

The International Day of Peace, observed each year on September 21, is a global call for non violence. The United Nations continue to spread the message of peace and Trinidad and Tobago has joined in that mission within the shores of our beautiful nation.

Every one of us wants this world to be a better place. We all want to live in a more peaceful and prosperous Trinidad and Tobago. But how do we build the country we want? And by extension, how do we build a more peaceful world? It begins with our thought processes.
The threats to global peace and security are many: tyranny and oppression, war and nuclear armament, and so many other ills that have plagued our planet for centuries.

In Trinidad and Tobago, we should spend some time on the International Day of Peace thanking God that we have been spared most of these hardships. In observance of this important Day, and with the work of the Community Mediation Services Division in mind, I urge all citizens to adopt an approach to anger management that resolves conflicts and disputes through peaceful means. Let us begin with our thoughts.

If we could change our mindsets by contemplating only healthy, peaceful and harmonious thoughts, we would have latched on to a single but revolutionary process.
Changing our thoughts would inevitably change our actions, and changing our actions would make all the difference, and bring about the change we wish to see in our country today.

Our ability in Trinidad and Tobago to live together in peace and harmony, every race, ethnicity and religion, is one of our greatest assets.
May Trinidad and Tobago continue to reflect the inscription on the United Nations Plaza: “They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

May we therefore demolish hateful thoughts and show nothing but love to our fellow men.

CREDITS: Photo courtesy the Ministry's Communications Unit

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Over 800 graduate from CEP in St. George West

General News

The following is the address (verbatim) delivered by the Honourable Nizam Baksh, Minister of Community Development at the Community Education Programme graduation in the county of St. George West, held at Queen's Hall on Monday September 19, 2011. The Ministry's Permanent Secretary Mrs Margaret Farray, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ms Donna Ferraz, Director of Community Development Ms Susan Corbett and Training Officer Omadaye Beesan also attended the event, which was the last in a series of nine CEP graduations across the various districts.

All protocols observed.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Community Development officially launched the CEP Programme not far from here, at our Adult Education Centre in St. Ann’s. I was genuinely impressed by the work that last year’s graduates displayed in Soft Furnishing, African Wear and Landscaping.
Even more inspiring was that a group of young ladies from the Landscaping course in Guayaguayare officially registered their company. In the space of only a few months they completed work for companies like BPTT, NGC, Halliburton, and BHP Billiton. These are all real testimonies from graduates like yourself.

Overview of the CEP Programme

Today I am heartened to address another group of successful CEP participants. Approximately 850 (eight hundred and fifty) individuals will be presented with certificates of participation at 45 venues in over 60 (sixty) areas.
From late March, at various locations in St. George West, you have dedicated three hours per week to learning your skills in Technical, Vocational and Craft skills. I am certain you spent even more hours honing and perfecting your craft and today I salute you on completing your course. Congratulations!
We at Community Development are committed to creating self-reliant individuals in our society. Your success is a shining example of self-reliance and the entrepreneurial spirit that we want to nurture.
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Division of Ageing to host Senior Citizens Parliament

General News

The Division of Ageing of the Ministry of Community Development will host its historic, inaugural Senior Citizens Parliament on Wednesday September 21, 2011 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Sepp Blatter Hall, Centre of Excellence in Macoya. The Honourable Nizam Baksh, Minister of Community Development, will attend and deliver the feature address, prior to the start of the parliamentary session.

The topic selected for discussion is “Deferral of the retirement age of the protective services.” Tokens will be given to participating organizations and certificates awarded to senior participants representing the 41 constituencies in Trinidad and Tobago. Approximately 200 persons are expected to attend.

The purpose of the initiative is to empower and engage the elderly in developing a strategic framework to prompt future legislation, policies, programmes and services for older persons.
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$1 million worth of projects for winning community in 2012

General News

Community Development Minister, the Honourable Nizam Baksh announced a new component to the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition’s Clean & Beautify T&T programme, as the National Commission For Self Help Limited, distributed $2 million in Purchase Orders to 132 families in South Trinidad, at a ceremony held at the San Fernando City Hall this morning, Friday, September 16, 2011. The purchase orders were handed out to needy families for the purchase of construction materials to repair their homes. Over 1,300 grants have been handed out so far for 2011.

In delivering the feature address, Minister Baksh said that the Minor Repair Reconstruction Grant Programme would be expanded in 2012, with the grant to be increased from $10,000 to $15,000. He also pointed to greater emphasis on the C&B T&T campaign, by challenging groups in the various communities to clean and beautify their areas, with $1 million in projects to be awarded to the winning community.