As part of the Global Strong Cities Network International Exchange Programme, a delegation from Orlando, Florida is in Trinidad, reaching out to communities in Central.
Chaguanas mayor Gopaul Boodhan hosted the overseas team at the borough corporation auditorium today.
He said over the past two days the visitors met several stakeholders in the communities, giving lectures and demonstrations on crime and social issues.
“The exchange programme has proven to be successful, as I can clearly say there were healthy discussions on the reduction of violence and other social issues among citizens in Chaguanas,” Boodhan said.
Visiting delegate Roxy Santiago who represents the LGBT community in Florida, said her organisation has been able out carry of thousands of HIV/Aids tests and help those who test positive.
“I am happy to be here in Trinidad and to reach out to the various communities, talking about showing respect for persons, regardless of their sexual orientations. Santiago said.
Santiago visited the St James Police Youth Club to look at activities for young people from five-25 as an alternative to life of drugs, crime and juvenile delinquency.
Michael Barrera, deputy public affairs officer of the US Embassy, is the liaison for Chaguanas. He spent the day in the Central borough meeting with the Chaguanas Chamber of Commerce as well as various youth groups and NGOs.
“I will continue to visit the area regularly to engage with the mayor and other stakeholders on outreach opportunities including security, social issues and other initiatives to further strengthen our bilateral relationship and support the growth and development of Chaguanas,” Barrera said.
Florida’s Damon Woods, president of the Parnassus Global Agency, is here to address social interaction and issues surrounding communication among youths.
The mayor has launched the Chaguanas Inter Agency Team (CIAT) which comprises religious leaders, business organisations, NGOs, and civil-society groups, from the borough of Chaguanas. The CIAT, the mayor said, meets monthly to discuss crime-prevention initiatives and other issues affecting the borough.
Boodhan also said three weeks ago a team from Chaguanas had gone to Washington and Orlando for seminars and workshops on safety and security as well as social issues and issues affecting youths.
In February 2017, as a result of the UN resolution to form a strong city network to reduce violence and crime in cities, Chaguanas became the only Caribbean “city” to be a member of the Global Strong City Network, which is represented in 162 countries around the world.