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Self Help brings relief to Granville residents

General News

The National Commission for Self Help Limited, a state enterprise of the Ministry of Community Development, will install toilet systems for five households in Boodram Trace and Syfo Trace, Granville on Saturday March 10, 2012 at 10:00 am. Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh will attend and deliver the feature address at the event.

NCSHL’s intervention in this community found that a large percentage of the villagers still depend on outhouses, which are unhygienic and environmentally unfriendly. Members of the community have agreed to mobilize themselves and assist in the provision of manual labour for the actual installation of the soak away systems.

Following this event, at 11:00 am, certificates will be distributed to members of the community who completed a Hydroponic Agricultural Training Programme which was sponsored by the NCSHL in collaboration with the Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs, on the compound of the Granville Community Centre. The project involved the training of community members in the field of Hydroponics, which also incorporated the installation of watering systems and beds for the cultivation of seedlings.
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Address by Minister Baksh for International Women's Day

General News

Message from the Minister of Community Development
International Women’s Day
Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty
March 8, 2011

Women of Trinidad and Tobago,
It is with great pleasure that our Ministry joins with the national and international community in commemorating and celebrating International Women’s Day. The Ministry of Community Development is dedicated to working with over 150 registered women’s groups across our Trinidad and Tobago. From the work in communities over the years, we have seen women make phenomenal contributions in their areas of residence, places of worship and towards national development.

Today however, there is another side to women in communities - a side where women live in sub-standard homes, are challenged by episodes of improper health care and are victims of poor nutrition and hunger. In fact, according to 2008/2009 data from the Central Statistical Office (CSO) over 200,000 persons in our country fall below the poverty line. In most of these cases, we see single-parent scenarios where women spend the majority of their lives working solely to provide for the basic needs of their children.
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Victoria East hosts International Women’s Day Interfaith Service

CAPTION: A cross section of attendees at the International Women’s Day Interfaith Service at the La Gloria Community Centre

“It is necessary to acknowledge the contributions made by women to the upliftment of their community,” said Wendy O’Brien, Community Development Officer II, at the La Gloria Community Centre, on Monday 5th March, 2012 when the Victoria East District hosted an Interfaith Service to commemorate International Women’s Day, which will be officially celebrated on March 8, 2012.

According to O’Brien, “Women have played a pivotal role over the years and we must recognise their efforts. It also serves as a motivation for others to stay committed and dedicated. It was important to show appreciation.”
Over 115 members from Senior Citizens Centres, Community Councils and various Women’s Groups were present for the event themed “Women in Position of Authority.” These groups which are registered with the Ministry of Community of Development continue to maintain good personal and professional relationships.

The Inter Faith Service included messages from the Muslim, Hindu and Christian faiths. The programme featured a presentation by Ms. Sharida Rahaman, who clarified the role of women to be complementary to men. Following this, Pundit Abedannand Persad Sharma gave an encouraging speech to the needs and wants of women in relation to their interaction with men. Lastly, Lay Minister Aaron Charles gave his insights to the modern day woman and the importance of raising strong, respectful men.

The programme ended with the distribution of hampers to single mothers within the Victoria East Community.

The Ministry of Community Development, Victoria East District culminated its recognition and celebration of International Women’s Day with a Breakfast Morning and Award Function on Tuesday 6th March, 2012 at the Barrackpore Regional Complex.
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Zoo improves, more work needed

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UNIC-IIR 2012 Human Rights Film Seminar Series starts Thursday

The 2012 Human Rights Film Seminar Series presented by the United Nations Information Centre for the Caribbean Area (UNIC) and the Institute of International Relations (IIR) will begin on 8 March 2012, UNIC National Information Officer Amanda Laurence announced in a release yesterday.

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Victoria East district awards 10 women for community service

The Victoria East district of the Ministry of Community Development awarded 10 women for service to their respective communities, at an International Women’s Day Panel Discussion and Award Ceremony held at the Barrackpore Regional Complex on Tuesday March 6, 2012. Miss La Reine Rive 2010, Victoria Cooper was among the awardees, for her contribution to culture as a singer and aspiring social work specialist.

The other nine awardees were: Kavi Ali, Merissa Aguilleira, Alberta Huntley, Kamille Jahoor, Angela Lewis, Pandora Mitchell, Mahadaye Mohammed, Pamela Redhead and the Lothian’s Road Women’s Group. They were awarded for work in various spheres including culture, education, social work, sports and entrepreneurship.

Panellists, former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Margaret Sampson-Browne, Sharida Mohammed-Rahaman and Vera Bajan all shared early experiences of triumph over tremendous odds and urged women to empower themselves through positive affirmations.

Community Development Minister, the Honourable Nizam Baksh attended the afternoon session and delivered brief remarks. The Minister then assisted in the presentation of the awards. Deputy Director of the Community Development Division, Gwyneth Alexander and CEO of the National Commission for Self Help Limited, Reynold Baldeosingh were also in attendance.

This was the second of two events hosted by Victoria East to commemorate International Women’s Day, which will be observed officially on Thursday March 8, 2012. The first was an Inter-faith service at the La Gloria Community Centre on Mc Lean Street, New Grant on Monday March 5, 2012

The Minister’s address is as follows:
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US to bestow highest award on Israeli President

Photo by David Shankbone

The United States of America will bestow its highest award for a civilian on Israeli President Shimon Peres later this year. US President Barack Obama made the announcement yesterday while addressing a conference.

Born in a shtetl in what was then Poland, a few years after the end of the first world war, Peres' heart was always in Israel, the historic homeland of the Jewish people. When he was just a boy he made his journey across land and sea toward home, the US President said.

In his life, he fought for Israel’s independence, and for Israel's peace and security. As a member of the Haganah and a member of the Knesset, as a Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs, as a Prime Minister and as President, Peres helped build the nation that thrives today: the Jewish state of Israel.

"Beyond these extraordinary achievements, he has also been a powerful moral voice that reminds us that right makes might -- not the other way around," Obama said.

Obama quoted the Israeli President as saying that the story of the Jewish people proved that, “slings, arrows and gas chambers can annihilate man, but cannot destroy human values, dignity, and freedom.” Obama credited Peres for teaching "us to ask more of ourselves, and to empathize more with our fellow human beings. I am grateful for his life’s work and his moral example."

"In many ways, this award is a symbol of the broader ties that bind our nations. The United States and Israel share interests, but we also share those human values that Shimon spoke about: A commitment to human dignity. A belief that freedom is a right that is given to all of God’s children. An experience that shows us that democracy is the one and only form of government that can truly respond to the aspirations of citizens," he said.

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Minister Baksh joins Habitat for Humanity in Leaders Build 2012

Caption: Minister Baksh turns soil on the site for the new McPherson home at KP lannds in Valencia. Looking on from left are Annalyn Figaro, daughter of Anita MC Pherson with the children, Jennifer Massaih, National Director, Habitat for Humanity, Chanka Seeterram, Chairman of the Board of Habitat for Humanity, Anita McPherson, Dr. Mathew Kenny, Professor at the PEAY State University and Paolo Cardozo, Managing Director, Arcelor Mittal and the Pastor who assisted in blessing the grounds.

On Sunday March 4, 2012, Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh, joined with Habitat for Humanity to bless and turn the soil to start construction of a new home for a Valencia family. The event took place at 10:00 am at the home of Anita Mc Pherson who hails from the rural community of KP Lands in Valencia.

Anita’s family includes her four grown children and five grandchildren who were all very grateful that their family was chosen among 21 cases to be assisted. During his address, Minister Baksh pledged his and his Ministry’s solidarity with Habitat for Humanity and to all other organizations that work towards alleviating poverty. According to Minister Baksh, “Today I am happy to join this gathering to offer a ‘hands up’ to the Mc Pherson family. This collaborative approach is one that we need to adopt in the eradication of poverty and I wish to call on the business community to partner with us.”

This project is an initiative of Habitat for Humanity and Acelor Mittal Steel, called “The Leaders Build 2012” where leaders from Government, religious communities, corporate citizens and civil social roll up their sleeves to make a difference.
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30 Community Development, Best Village Officers graduate at Lok Jack GSB

The following are the addresses (verbatim) delivered by Community Development Minister the Honourable Nizam Baksh and Permanent Secretary Mrs Margaret Farray at the graduation held at the Yara Auditorium, Arthur Lok Jack GSB, Max Richards Drive, Uriah Butler Highway on Friday March 2, 2012.

The Minister's address is as follows:

All protocols observed.

A pleasant good morning. (Playing some piano and chords for emphasis)
I am honoured to be here this morning, in the company of not only members of my Executive Team at the Ministry, but also the Executives, Lecturers, Academic and Professional staff of this esteemed institution, the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, and most importantly, you our distinguished graduates.

For many of us, graduation ceremonies have been defined by a range of emotions, regardless of how simple they are. These ceremonies provide a sense of accomplishment for the graduates who acknowledge the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, while those who are behind the scenes anxiously ensure that the ceremony is well orchestrated.

As I begin, I wish to acknowledge the Lecturers, Tutors and Advisors who are with us today. Could you please stand. I also ask all the graduates to stand. Thank you for your willingness and commitment to participate in this programme and I extend congratulations to both you and your families.

As you are aware, our National Development Policy has been established within a framework of seven (7) interconnected Pillars. As Officers and staff of the Ministry of Community Development, we play an important role in achieving two of these pillars which are People Centred Development – where each and every citizen contributes to national development, and Poverty Alleviation/eradication and Social justice, where programmes and projects are designed to reduce poverty, while creating equal opportunities for all persons, regardless of race, class, colour or gender.

An integral part of the Government’s mandate is to transform the Public Service through renewal and modernization, by undertaking critical measures to create a more responsive public service; one that is focused on service delivery. One such measure is to create strategies for improving leadership and management for emerging leaders, like you, our graduates, so that a national framework for sustainable development can be instituted.

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Minister Baksh to attend Habitat for Humanity’s Leader’s Build launch

The Honourable Nizam Baksh, Minister of Community Development will join Habitat for Humanity Trinidad and Tobago at 10:00 am on Sunday March 4, 2012 to officially launch the historic “Leaders Build 2012” The Leaders Build Project is the result of a collaboration between Habitat for Humanity, Arcelor Mittal and political, religious, community and corporate leaders across Trinidad and Tobago. The project aims to alleviate poverty in Trinidad and Tobago by building and repairing homes in partnership with low-income families.

This major event will take place at KP Lands in Valencia and Minister Baksh will deliver an address as part of the ongoing partnership which the Ministry of Community Development has with Habitat for Humanity Trinidad and Tobago.