Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs and MP for Tobago West Shamfa Cudjoe is imploring youths on the island to be productive
She was delivering the keynote address during the distribution of grants on Tuesday by the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and the National Commission for Self Help at the Signal Hill Community Centre.
Cudjoe said the central government of which she is a part is doing its part in the fight against poverty, but the youths too had a part to play.
“No matter how difficult the financial and fiscal situation might be, we still find it prudent, important and a huge priority to deliver to those who are needy, to those who are our senior citizens and those who need social assistance.
“This Government is a caring government and we do all that is necessary to ensure that no matter how hard times may be, we continue to offer the necessary support to those who are needy and especially our senior citizens,” she said, adding that the current systems and programmes are been strengthened, all in an effort to ensure in "this guava season," where finance is so difficult to come by, “we are able to get social assistance into the hands of those who need it most.
“This is the third distribution in Tobago since October 2018. Prior to the distribution in October 2018, there were no distributions in Tobago prior to 2012. So from 2012 all the way to last year, we didn’t have distribution in Tobago.
“Something happened at the end of 2012 or very early in 2013 to cause Tobago to be cut off from this National Self Help Programme. So I am pleased that the National Self Help Programme have placed Tobago as a priority and we are her once again to deliver to the people of Tobago,” she said.
“I want you to encourage the young people to go out there and be productive. Work to build country, work to contribute to the treasury. Build their own businesses and contribute to the economic development of TT. Who will put money in the kitty, who would contribute to the treasury, who is putting money in the bank to ensure the next generation gets to benefit from this social assistance.
“Morning wuk doh build country. We have young, able-bodied people coming to the MP office to say they want a morning work.
"You have access to all this education, all this technology, all these opportunities to revel in and bask in their glory. Take advantage of these opportunities so that we can build our economy,” she urged.