Laventille East/Morvant MP Adrian Leonce donned his barber cap yesterday as he trimmed the hair of several young boys in his constituency in preparation for tomorrow’s opening of the new school term.
Showing his proficiency with the machine, a focussed Leonce even crafted designs on the heads of his eager clients, many of whom said they were ready to return to school after the July-August vacation.
The activity formed part of the constituency’s back to school project, which is geared toward helping the youngsters prepare for school amid often insurmountable socio-economic challenges.
Held in collaboration with the Igbega Foundation, the event, now in its third year, is a fixture on the constituency’s social calendar.
It attracted scores of children, who braved the inclement weather, to partake of a range of culinary delights as well as face-painting and other novelty activities at the constituency office, Lady Young Road, Morvant.
Asked by Sunday Newsday if barbering was one of his passions, Leonce said the trade had enabled him to purchase his first house.
“The house that I bought is from trimming. It was not off of anything else. I cut hair in New York. I cut hair in England. That is how I took care of myself,” he said.
“So, I understand the importance of skill development and how you could use it for self-sustainability.”
The Laventille East/Morvant constituency serves eight primary schools and three secondary schools.
However, statistics have shown that one in five students in the region come from single-parent or low income-generating households.
“Leonce sad the project was intended to fill that gap.
“This initiative is about servicing, and coming together in difficult times where whatever we could have, whether it be a skill we could come and protect our future, which is the children,” he said.
“Education is the most important thing in their growing up life and a lot of children do not have as much as the more privileged children do.
“So we try to bridge that gap by giving them proper tools to make them feel good about themselves whether it be with new hair cut, pair of sneakers or new school bag.
“The whole idea is to not make them, feel less than anybody else. It is basically about building self-confidence and giving them the right tools.”
Leonce said although there were not many donors for this year’s event, parents and other well-wishers came out to assist.
“Some people donate in kind and some people donated a little funds. At the end of the day God is the boss and God will always provide for initiatives like this. Even though we may not have gotten our wish list, we still have enough.”
Leonce said plans are on stream to provide evening meals for the less fortunate children in the area.
“We want to even go further in terms of giving them meals because the schools prepare meals during the day but on the evening when the children have to study their lessons, we want to be able to bridge that gap also to provide meals for them,” he said.
“We started doing meals through a soup kitchen and we want to do that for the children.”