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Traditions of Carnival winners receive their prizes

General News

The following is the address delivered by Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh, at the prize-giving ceremony for ‘Traditions of Carnival 2012’ hosted by the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition at the Ministry’s Adult Education Centre, #1 La Fantasie Road, St. Ann’s on Monday March 26, 2012.

All protocols observed.

Good morning.
It is always a pleasure for me to be involved in events with a cultural touch and today is no exception. I wish to extend warm greetings from the Ministry of Community Development to all of the representatives of the groups who are here today to receive what they have earned in return for their creativity, talent and colourful displays at this year’s Traditions of Carnival.

As Minister of Community Development and a long- standing community development practitioner, I am acquainted with the sense of pride and community spirit which most of you possess as Best Village icons. Today, I am therefore quite pleased to distribute these cheques just after two months following participation in the Traditions of Carnival on January 28, 2012.

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Malabar to get new community centre

General News

Community Development Minister, the Honourable Nizam Baksh will formally commission a new community centre for residents of Malabar Phase IV on Monday March 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm. The new state of the art facility is expected to bring significant benefits to residents of the community in East Trinidad.

Some of the amenities of the new community centre include:

• Auditorium
• A Training Kitchen (for use in courses for culinary arts)
• Computer Room
• Classroom
• Gymnasium
• Dressing Rooms
• Wash Rooms

This is the third centre being opened by Minister Baksh within the last month. Following the Malabar Phase IV facility, five more facilities are scheduled to be opened during April and May 2012.
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Traditions of Carnival 2012 winners to receive prizes

The winners of the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition’s Traditions of Carnival 2012 will receive their prizes at a short ceremony to be held at the Community Development Ministry’s Adult Education Centre, #1 La Fantasie Road, St. Ann’s on Monday March 26, 2012 at 10:30 am. Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh will deliver the keynote address and assist with the distribution of trophies and cheques to all of the category winners and the overall winner, the Northwest Laventille Cultural Movement from St. George West.

The annual Traditions of Carnival competition, which signals the start of the Folk Festival, was held at Constantine Park in Macoya on Saturday January 28, 2012. The full results are as follows:

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US envoy on children's issues to visit Trinidad

Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Verna St. Rose-Greaves (left) will receive a courtesy call from Ambassador Susan Jacobs, Special Advisor on International Children Issues, from the US State Department on Friday, at the Minister's International Waterfront Complex office on Wrightson Road in Port of Spain.

Ambassador Jacobs (right) will visit Trinidad as part of the last leg of a Caribbean tour taking her to Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago from March 18-24, 2012.

As part of the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Office of Children’s Issues actively engages in two issues that cross international borders:

- Inter country adoption; and

- International parental child abduction.

Through this Office, the Obama Administration shows its commitment to protecting the welfare and interests of children around the world. The Office serves as the US Central Authority for two multilateral treaties:

- The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption; and

- The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

The United States welcomes more children through adoption than any other nation – over 100,000 during the last five years alone. It assists parents as they seek to provide a home to orphans abroad through intercountry adoption by offering country specific information about the adoption process and by advocating for greater protections for adoptive parents and children abroad.

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CEP launched, classes to start March 26

The Community Education (Skills Training) Programme of the Ministry of Community Development was formally launched at the Ministry’s Adult Education Centre, #1 La Fantasie Road, St Ann’s this morning, Wednesday March 21, 2012. Two CEP success stories were showcased during the launch: S&S Persad Bakery of Rio Claro and Heartbeat, a Guitar-playing music group, from New Grant, Princes Town.

The CEP provides training in a variety of marketable skills for home-based production of goods and services and employment generation. This would in turn, reduce household expenditure and allow for more effective use of scarce financial resources. The programme includes training at both basic and advanced levels. The Basic course is 60 hours in duration, while the Advanced course is 75 hours.

In his feature address, Minister Baksh called on the Community Development and Handicraft Officers present, to seek out individuals and groups that have participated through the CEP programme and engage these persons in dialogue to help them develop their own business. He indicated that the Ministry’s Community Development Fund and C.A.R.E. programmes provided necessary grants to assist with the start-up of a business and encouraged persons to approach organizations like NEDCO and the Ministry of Labour for further support. “This will ensure that our participants can take their skill to another level” the Minister said.. He assured the Ministry’s continued support for the CEP and Handicraft Programmes and encouraged persons to register for this year’s classes.

Certificates of participation will be awarded to participants upon completion based on an attendance of at least 75 percent of class sessions and an evaluation of work completed during the course. Some of the courses being offered include:

• Balloon Decoration Craft
• Bread, Cakes and Pastries
• Catering and Hospitality
• Traditional African Garment
• Computer Literacy
• Computer Repairs
• Cosmetology
• Electrical Wiring
• Events Management

Persons wishing to register for the Programme can obtain application forms at the community centre in their district. Registration closes this Friday March 23, 2012 and all classes commence on the week of March 26, 2012 in Community Development Districts across the country.

The Minister’s full address is as follows:

All protocols observed.
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Reham Al-Farra Fellowship opens to St Lucian journalists

Applications are now invited from nationals of Saint Lucia for the 2012 Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalists Fellowship Programme, which will be held at United Nations Headquarters from Tuesday, 4 September to Friday, 5 October 2012 (the first four weeks in New York and the last in Geneva), a release from the United Nations Information Centre for the Caribbean Area said today.

The Programme provides an opportunity for junior and mid-level journalists from developing countries to acquaint themselves with the work of the United Nations. Countries included in this annual programme are selected on a rotating basis.

The United Nations Department of Public Information recruits participants through its field offices in the selected countries. Saint Lucia is one of the 24 countries from which applications are being invited this year. One candidate each from 12 of those countries will be selected to participate in the Programme.

Criteria for nomination include:

- Journalist between the ages of 22 and 35

- A national of Saint Lucia

- Several years of journalistic experience and a proven interest in international affairs

- Currently employed by a recognised media organisation (freelancers are not eligible)

- Available for the entire period of the Programme (candidates will have to provide a letter from their employers agreeing to release them for the duration of the programme)

The United Nations will provide to participants:

- Economy class tickets from their country to New York City, from New York to Geneva and from Geneva back to country of origin by the most direct route.

- A daily stipend to cover the cost of the hotel recommended by the Programme. From this sum, participants must cover any other expenses that may be incurred in New York and in Geneva.

- All participants must provide proof of valid medical insurance while in the United States and Switzerland.

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Community Development Ministry to launch CEP 2012

The Ministry of Community Development will officially launch its Community Education (Skills Training) Program 2012 at the Ministry’s Adult Education Centre at #1 La Fantasie Road, St. Ann’s on Wednesday March 21, 2012 at 10:00 am. Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh will attend and deliver the feature address at the event.
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427 Graduate from Export Centres Craft Training Programme

Caption: Graduates proudly display their certificates, in picture with Minister Baksh, PS Farray and ECCL's CEO Susilla Ramkissoon-Mark

A total of 427 trainees graduated from the 2011 Craft Training Programme, which was conducted by the Export Centres Company Limited (ECCL). The ECCL, a state enterprise under the purview Ministry of Community Development hosted a graduation ceremony for participants of its Craft Training Programme for 2011 at the Sepp Blatter Hall, Centre of Excellence in Macoya on Saturday March 17, 2012. The event began at 3:30 pm as Chairperson for the occasion, Hema Ramkissoon welcomed all to the gathering.

Community Development Minister, the Honourable Nizam Baksh attended the event and was accompanied by his Permanent Secretary, Margaret Farray, CEO of the Export centres Susilla Ramkissoon-Mark and Chairman of the ECCL Board, Sharda Ramlakhan, as well as other Board members.

In his feature address, Minister Baksh congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments and urged them to transform their lives through craft. The Minister also called for an Institute of Craft and Design in order to improve the employability of craftsmen as it will be a prestigious provider of education and training in craft, fashion and gourmet food sub sectors, contributing to national development.

The programme started off with a total of 429 trainees, 282 in the North and 147 in the South for the period 2010 – 2011. Thirteen (13) areas of craft making were offered at ten (10) training centres in North and South Trinidad. The Craft courses offered included Linen & Drapery; Soft furnishing; Glass Engraving; Terite; Floral Arranging; Sugar Craft; Airbrush; Upholstery; Events; Screen Printing; Leather Craft; Soap & Candle and Ceramics.

The following is the address(verbatim) delivered by the Honourable Nizam Baksh:
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St George East District hosts Legal Aid Workshop at Maloney Regional Complex

Caption: The Legal Aid Panel - L to R: Patricia Mendoza-Mason, Kern Edwards, Leslie Ponching-Turton, Chaitram Sinanan, Head of Legal Aid, Trinidad and Tobago, and Nancy Arneaud, Secretary to the Legal Aid Board.

The St George East Administrative District of the Ministry of Community Development, today, Saturday March 17, 2012, hosted a One-Day Legal Awareness Workshop at the Maloney Regional Complex from 9:00 am. This Workshop was open to members of the general public and was attended by residents, and community groups as well as Women's groups from Maloney and environs, Arima, Brazil, Las Lomas, La Seiva and Blanchisseuse.

According to Community Development Officer Judy Ruiz, the main intention and objectives of the session were to:
- Sensitize communities on legal terms and meanings
- Enhance general knowledge of laws governing our land as it pertains to issues like:
- Preparation of wills and deed
- Marriage and Divorce Act
- Domestic Violence Act
- Custody Matters
- Traffic Offences
- Property and Ownership
- Tenant and Land Lord relationships and issues
- Freedom of Information Act

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More training to come for CDF Volunteers

The Community Development Fund of the Ministry of Community Development is currently in talks with the Enterprise Development Division of the Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development, to forge a partnership which would enable CDF volunteers to acquire management training through its Integrated Business Incubator System, IBIS. The six-month programme would give participants the skills to run their own businesses and achieve sustainable economic development.

In his contribution on the second day of the CDF’s two-day Community Volunteer Training Programme at the Cascadia Hotel in St. Ann’s this morning, Sector Specialist of the IBIS Programme, Makesi Alexander said the main objective of the programme is to instil in participants a mindset of entrepreneurship and employment generation.

There were also contributions from the Ministry of the People and Social Development, the National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme, the Ministry of Tourism and the United Nations Development Programme, Trinidad and Tobago.

Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh attended the morning session and delivered remarks as follows:

All protocols observed.

I am happy that you have responded positively and committed yourself as participants in Poverty Alleviation in our communities.
The Community Development Fund has received over 200 applications in response to our call for Volunteers. Each one of you who has been selected for this programme must consider yourself fortunate because of the competition to be a volunteer.

There is a saying that a volunteer is not only a shining example in the community but is indeed a bright light to others. It is safe to say therefore, that this room is filled with people who will create light in our communities and by extension our nation as they fulfil their roles as volunteers. I thank you all sincerely for availing yourself to become volunteers. I thank you also for your commitment to the cause of volunteerism.

The Role of the Community Development Fund