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Newly refurbished community centre for Bon Air West

General News

Residents of Bon Air West will soon be able to access a newly refurbished community centre, when the facility is rededicated on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm. Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh will keynote the event and formally rededicate the upgraded centre.

The centre now consists of the following amenities:

• Auditorium
• Class Rooms
• Training Kitchen
• Computer/Internet Access Training Room; and
• Gymnasium

Since taking office, Minister Baksh has commissioned seven community facilities. These were the Guayaguayare Community Centre, the Preysal Community Centre, the La Seiva Community Centre, the Waterloo Community Centre, the Ste. Madeleine Regional Complex, the Gulf View Community Centre, and the La Gloria Community Centre.
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Prime Minister to open new community centre at La Gloria

General News
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Ministry of Community Development launches new GAPP Cycle

General News The following is the address delivered by the Honourable Nizam Baksh, Minister of Community Development, at the launch of the GAPP Cycle I

I am very proud to be present at the formal launch of Level One of the Geriatric Adolescent Partnership (GAPP). This programme has been in operation for the past seventeen (17) years, training young people to meet the needs of the elderly in their community.

The Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme is designed to sensitise young people to the ageing process and help them, through training and field visitation, to develop practical skills in geriatric care.
The programme has two levels:
Level One targets young people between seventeen (17) and twenty five (25) years old and teaches skills in caring for young adults as well as the elderly.
Level Two provides training to persons between eighteen (18) and thirty (30) years old about the psychological and physiological changes in the ageing process.

Today, the Ministry of Community Development formally launches the Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme - Level One which will target younger participants and teach the basics in caring for the elderly. For fourteen (14) weeks, Level One participants would be exposed to five main areas of Training:
- Nutrition/Home Management Skills
- Practicum Community Visits
- Nursing Aide Skills
- Life Skills; and
- Electives such as Parenting, Fit for Life practices, Financial Management.

Over the years, hundreds of persons have benefited from the training that helps to prepare participants for careers in Geriatric Care, and in the case of the advanced level, to help participants upgrade their caregiving skills.

This programme has been in existence for over a decade, and that period has been characterised by consistent improvements.
This is why I am pleased to announce today that I approached the Cabinet and Cabinet has agreed to increase the monthly stipend for geriatric caregivers from $1800 to $2500 commencing May 2011. We have also increased the number of caregivers from four hundred (400) to six hundred (600).
This year, participants will not only be going out to the senior citizens, but the seniors will also come into nine (9) centres for sessions that will encourage them to embrace active living. We are trying to put programmes for the elderly to be more proactive and in the process reduce their doctor bills.
There will also be in-service training for the present caregivers in four (4) districts – North, South, East and Central to ensure that their care giving skills are up to date. This is a useful initiative. We consider this necessary for those who are already trained to keep abreast with skills and expertise in care giving. Our graduates should be exposed to continuous training.

GAPP is aligned to the Ministry of Community Development’s strategy to deliver sustainable, developmental programmes to communities. GAPP is one programme that achieves this goal. It is a mutually beneficial course in which young people in our communities learn lifelong, practical skills and Senior Citizens benefit from their care and attention.
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GAPP 2011 cycle to be launched on April 27

General News

The Ministry of Community Development will formally launch the 2011 cycle of courses (Level I) for the Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme (GAPP) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 at its Education, Training and Resource Centre, #1 La Fantasie Road, St. Ann’s from 10:30 am. Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh will attend and deliver the feature address.

Registration for the programme takes place today, Tuesday April 26, 2011, with classes set to begin on Monday May 2, 2011 at nine community centres across the country and run for a period of 14 weeks. Participants will be awarded certificates at an official graduation ceremony, upon completion of the programme. Facilitators and tutors for this year’s cycle will also be participating in an orientation exercise at St. Ann’s from today, April 26 to 29, 2011.
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Minister praises Habitat for Humanity's Guapo Beach project

General News The following is the address (verbatim) delivered by Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh at the Ground-Breaking ceremony of the Guapo Beach Facility on Friday April 15, 2011 at 10:00 am.

All protocols observed.

A good Guapo morning to you all.

As I am sure many of you know, Guapo means “beautiful” in Spanish, and not only is this one of the most beautiful places in Trinidad, but thanks to Habitat for Humanity, the Atlantic Company, and the Point Fortin Borough Corporation, it is about to get even more spectacular.
I want to start by thanking our hosts this morning for the opportunity to be at the first Habitat for Humanity community project of this magnitude and Atlantic. The Ministry of Community Development agreed to support this initiative because it aligns with our Ministry’s vision of building resilient communities.

It was the former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan who said, “We are in an age where community involvement and partnerships are becoming increasingly indispensable. There is now a growing potential for cooperative development, and renewal worldwide.”

Today’s Sod Turning ceremony is all about that kind of partnership. Volunteers from the Guapo, Point Fortin area will join corporate volunteers and other Habitat for Humanity volunteers, to build what will become one of the most scenic landmarks in this part of the country.

Having looked at the graphic projection by Eyescream, and aware of the capabilities of the great organisations involved in this project, I have every confidence that the Guapo Beach facility, when completed, will become the premier beach facility in South Trinidad, and rival venues like Maracas, Manzanilla and even Pigeon Point in Tobago!

With the impressive track record of Habitat for Humanity T&T, with over 305 families served through housing solutions; combined with the weight of the Point Fortin Borough Corporation; and the power of the Atlantic Company, this site is set to become the top beach destination in Trinidad.

The partnership shared by these three organisations and the people of Guapo exemplifies the concept of Community Development that we promote at the Ministry, and that is: the combined effort of people in local communities, Government and external agencies, all united to improve the quality of life of the people.