NATIONAL Security Minister and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young says the Community Recovery Committee (CRC) has been hard at work on its mandate to address at-risk communities in TT since it was formed last year.
The committee, in a media release on Wednesday, said it met with two teams from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) in a virtual meeting on Tuesday. It said the meetings were held to discuss, agree on and plan projects to enhance and develop communities in East Port of Spain.
“The committee will review an initial concept paper to be presented by the IADB and will continue to identify and engage stakeholders with the goal of improving the lives of the residents of East Port of Spain.”
In the Senate on Tuesday in response to a question from Independent Senator Paul Richards, Young explained the committee created a series of activities to provide a framework for its activities.
"The initial phase was focused on critical internal arrangements, following which the CRC initiated a series of activities to engage key communities and stakeholders.
"The committee has established a database of organisations and agencies that provide programmes and services to the greater Laventille East/ Port of Spain communities.
"The committee conducted partial review of reports of activities and interventions in the communities targeted and has developed a framework including roles and responsibilities for the intervention and activities."
He explained the committee’s outreach programme saw consultations with people in 13 communities such as Beverly Hills, Sea Lots, 2nd Caledonia, Never Dirty, John John, Belmont and Gonzales. Indicating that a report on the first round of these consultations has been prepared, Young identified employment, employability, education and infrastructure as some of the main issues emerging from the consultation.
He also said representatives of these communities also offered their ideas on what their respective community recoveries should look like. Together with the Youth Development and National Service Ministry and IGovTT, Young said the committee developed a website and social media presence.
He said through an initiative spearheaded by the National Lotteries Control Board, 25 submissions have been received online for the creation of the committee’s logo. Young said discussions are ongoing with Cariri and the Caribbean Fisheries, Training and Development Institute "towards providing training for young persons in East Port of Spain.”
He indicated the committee was integral in providing 38 tablets from the Education Ministry to students in need in the communities it is working in.
The Prime Minister announced the creation of the committee last July, after two days of protests in East Port of Spain and other areas. He said the committee will examine and establish the causes of disquiet and dissatisfaction among disenfranchised communities throughout the country.
The committee is chaired by psychologist Anthony Watkins. Other members of the committee are Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly; Children's Authority director Nichola Harvey-Mitchell; former TT football coach Jamaal Shabazz; media personality Hans des Vignes; motivational speaker Curtis Toussaint; social entrepreneur Akosua Edwards; former Olympic gold medallist Hasely Crawford, economist Dr Keron Victor and DJ Christopher “Jillionaire” Leacock.