Thursday, May 26 2011 @ 01:54 PM AST
Contributed by: NicolaJoseph
The following is the address (verbatim) delivered by the Honourable Nizam Baksh, Minister of Community Development at the formal recommissioning of the newly refurbished Bon Air West Community Centre on Wednesday May 25, 2011.
All protocols observed.
This community centre marks the 8th Community Centre opening since I assumed office, and I’m glad that I can celebrate this milestone in Bon Air West. The seven previous were: Guayaguayare, Preysal, La Seiva, Waterloo, Gulf View, La Gloria and Hindustan. We also provided a grant to Surrey community to assist with their community centre.
New Concept of Community Development
For some people the concept of Community, and Community Development may seem like an outdated one. Some believe that Community Development should be confined to a time when mothers were at home to take care of children, men were the only ones who went out to work and everyone knew all their neighbours. But times have changed a lot within the past 30 years. I know about this first hand. Every morning I go to work in Port of Spain from Barrackpore.
And like many of you, I leave home before the sun rises and return long after sunset. So I agree with some people who don’t believe that we have communities as we did before.
But this does not mean that we no longer have the need for community cohesion and development. What this means is that the approaches and strategies for achieving community development must change. And we have recognised the need for change at the Ministry of Community Development and have adopted new strategies to achieve Community Development in urban areas like Bon Air West and environs.
For the first time in June 2010, the Community Development Division was separated from Culture and Gender Affairs and stood as a Ministry on its own. We became a new Ministry with a new vision and mission and adopted new ways of operating.