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Export Centres to improve in 2012

General News

Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh says his Ministry plans to revise the mandate of the Export Centres Company Limited to take it to a new level in the next financial year.

Addressing a Republic Day staff brunch at the ECCL’s office on the Eastern Main Road in Mount Hope this morning, he said the company’s management, including its Board of Directors, must look at what ECCL can do to take the craft trade on a larger scale.

Minister Baksh said he wants to see the ECCL become a business enterprise and challenged staff members to put forward their ideas for development. He said one must look at new things to take any organization forward and this can only be achieved with the full support of its staff. He also expressed the view that more of the graduates should get into the craft business after they complete courses run by the ECCL.

The Export Centres Programme is mandated to empower members of village communities through the production of craft for the export market.

ECCL’s main objective is to provide export-specific training for persons who previously received basic training in craft development at the Community Development Division’s training or those who benefitted from other relevant training exposure.


Caption: Minister Baksh samples some mango chow made by ECCL staff members, who faced off in a chow-making competition at the brunch.


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CREDITS: Photo courtesy the Ministry's Communications Unit
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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.


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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.
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St Patrick District launches project to empower Village Councils, CBOs, NGOs and Parents

General News
CAPTION: Officials of the Ministry of COmmunity Development pose with members of the St Patrick's Association of Village Councils during the launch of the Let Your Light Shine and Parenting in the 21st Century Projects this morning.

The St Patrick District Office of the Ministry of Community Development, today launched the “Let your Light Shine” and “Parenting in the 21st Century” Projects, during a formal ceremony which was held at the St Patrick’s Administrative Office in Siparia. The Launch took place at 10:00 am in the presence of Herold Gopaul, Programme Director of the Community Development Fund (CDF), Deputy Director of Community Development, Gwyneth Morris-Alexander, and other key officials of the Ministry and CDF respectively. Also present at the launch were representatives of the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Village and Community Councils, representatives from the Federation of Women’s Institute, St Patrick District, as well as other stakeholders and beneficiaries of the upcoming Programmes.
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Over 130 South families to receive $2 million in NCSHL grants

General News

The National Commission For Self Help Limited, part of the Ministry of Community Development’s portfolio, will distribute $2 million in Purchase Orders to 132 families in South Trinidad, at a ceremony to be held at the San Fernando City Hall on Friday, September 16, 2011 from 10:00 am. The purchase orders will be handed out to needy families for the purchase of construction materials to repair their homes in:

• San Fernando
• Fyzabad
• La Brea
• Naparima
• Ortoire/Mayaro
• Oropouche
• Point Fortin
• Pointe-a-Pierre
• Princes Town; and
• Siparia

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Community Development Ministry observes Eid-ul-Fitr with luncheon

General News

The Ministry of Community Development hosted its staff luncheon to mark the observance of Eid-ul-Fitr 2011 earlier today, Wednesday September 14, 2011 at the Ministry’s car park, Jerningham Avenue, Belmont.

Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh, in his brief remarks at the event, welcomed representatives from the new divisions (Ageing, Mediation, NADAPP and Adult Education), which are now under the purview of the Ministry.

Earlier, guest speaker Imam Asim Abdullah delivered a message on the meaning of Eid-ul-Fitr and its significance to the Muslim community, as well as other denominations. Staff members were then treated to a traditional Indian meal, which included the popular Sawine, along with sweets including Kurma.


Caption: Minister Baksh,( right) presents a token of appreciation to Imam Asim Abdullah, guest speaker at the Ministry’s Eid-ul-Fitr luncheon.


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CREDITS: Photo courtesy the Ministry's Communications Unit


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Community Development Ministry observes Eid-ul-Fitr

General News

The Ministry of Community Development will host a staff luncheon to mark the observance of Eid-ul-Fitr 2011 on Wednesday September 14, 2011 from 11:00 am at the Ministry’s car park, Jerningham Avenue, Belmont.

Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh will attend and deliver the feature address to staff and other specially invited guests.


Caption: Minister Baksh dressed in ethnic wear at the Ministry’s Head Office last Thursday September 8, 2011.


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CREDITS: Photo courtesy the Ministry's Communications Unit