RESIDENTS of Quarry Drive, St Joseph, now have improved technological access with the opening of the Quarry Drive community centre computer lab on Saturday.
The lab is the result of a collaborationbetween the Digicel Foundation, Hillside Community Club, Togetherness Group and St Joseph MP Terrence Deyalsingh.
Addressing constituents at Saturday's opening Deyalsingh said, "Events like this become the happiest day of my life as a member of Parliament when I see projects like this and when I see promises that I made being kept."
Deyalsingh said the computer lab was on his 2015 list of general election promises.
"I said before I leave office in 2020, I will put a computer lab in this community centre. So said, so done."
He touted his accomplishments in the constituency, saying there was an improved water supply to the Lemon Drive community and the Quarry Drive community. He also boasted of bringing library facilities to the Mt Hope community centre.
"I tell you residents all of this (my accomplishments) to show that an MP can't solve every individual problem – that is impossible – but what you can do is develop the communities. And with development come opportunities, and with opportunities comes personal development.
"My job is not to give fish, my job is to teach you how to fish. Giving you a fish feeds you today, but when your belly starts to grumble tomorrow, who is there to put back fish? You have to do it."
Opening the computer lab and improving access to services was also part of Deyalsingh's mission to bring quality services to those who live north and south of the Eastern Main Road (EMR) in his constituency.
"I found it disturbing that areas north of the EMR were not similarly developed to those south and I made it my political life's mission to start to increase the development in these areas.
"No one child, based on colour, race, creed or values, is different from any other. But what determines the trajectory the child's life takes is the opportunities, and areas north of the EMR havw not had the opportunities that other areas had," said Deyalsingh.
"I am so happy not only to open a computer lab this morning but to bring learning and opportunities so that these children can aspire to be anything. We are equalising the playing field."
Speaking to the children present, he said, "You are no longer at the back of the class. This computer, if you are at the back of the class, puts you to the front of the line. It helps you make a quantum leap in your personal development."
Digicel's strategic partnership officer Alicia Hospedales said, "The launch of this new technology space for the residents of Quarry Drive represents the combined input and efforts of funding from the Digicel Foundation and members of the Hillside Community Club, along with your MP.
"Digicel Foundation has spent the last seven years supporting initiatives that advance the life of persons with special needs, and collaborating with NGOs to transform communities throughout TT."
Hospedales, the PNM MP for Arouca MP from 2007-2010, said Deyalsingh had reached out to the foundation for internet access for the new lab.
Explaining the purpose of the foundation, she said it "aims to support and deliver small-scale community-based projects that has the potential to enhance both indoor and outdoor spaces and contribute to the development of communities throughout TT."
Councillor for the area Darren Winchester said, "We at the St Joseph fraternity continue to be proud of a number of things. One being that we have been able to spread around resources, as best as we could, around the region."
He added, "This computer lab is one of those interesting steps in which the MP's office and the fraternity of St Joseph is making that investment in the promise of a better tomorrow for the residents of Quarry Drive."