TAARIQKA KELLY decided to be the change she wanted to see in others when she started an NGO, Pause 4 Cause, this year. The NGO was launched on December 21 with a children’s Christmas party at Chinapoo basketball court, Chinapoo Village, Morvant.
Kelly, 31, lives in Chinapoo Village and works as a temporary clerk typist 1 with the Service Commissions Department.
In the past she was a member of many groups, but always found after some time they became inactive.
“I have been involved in a lot of community groups from my youth through to my teen years. Morvant Police Youth Club among them. I was also involved in Village Council and every group just got stagnant. I was like, 'Nobody is doing anything.' I tried to get other people to do things but everyone was so busy that I said better I be the change I wanted to see,” she said in a phone interview with Newsday.
Pause 4 Cause was registered as an NGO in October. The group has four board members, with Kelly as its founder and director, and 20 members. The youth-based group wants to make positive transformations in communities.
Kelly said, “We aim to take back our communities by moulding and shaping the minds of our youth through education and social activities.”
She plans to ensure that the village’s youth have a lot of activities to be involved in, since she realised when there aren’t a lot of activities the youth tend to “lean to the side of negative things.”
She believes attracting them from an early age is likely to bring about positive change.
“We can’t wait until they become too big so we reach out to them when they are young…so the chances of them going to the wrong side would be less than it is now.” The target age range is seven-17.
Asked how she intends to fund the organisation, Kelly said the group plans to hold fundraisers as well as seeking sponsorship. Its Christmas party was funded through a snack-box fundraiser, as well as from assistance from sponsors such as the area’s MP, Adrian Leonce, KFC and Mario's Pizza.
While she has seen many other groups fall by the wayside, Kelly believes such groups indeed help change lives and by extension, TT.
“You might not be able to win all. You might be able to win some. But some is better than none. If you only help a person, then your living will never be in vain.”
Kelly said the group has plans to spread its work in communities across the country.
“Charity begins at home. We launched in Chinapoo because it is our home. We tried our home first. But we intend to join with other groups to help them in other ways in other communities,” she said.
The organisation is not only youth-focused but plans to also assist the elderly and people in need.
For Kelly, “It is about making social changes in the community as a whole.”