The National Commission for Self Help has distributed over $3 million over the last month to approximately 200 families across Trinidad and Tobago whose homes need emergency repairs.
On September 6, $330,000 was distributed to 22 families in Arima.
At another grant distribution on Wednesday, Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe applauded the commission for its swift response to those whose homes require critical repairs, particularly those affected by recent bad weather.
Speaking to 15 of the 52 recipients waiting to receive grants at the Mt Hope/Mt Lambert Community Centre, Cudjoe urged all “to see this more than just some money to fix your home.
“The self help programme is much more than that. This is about rebuilding, repositioning and relaunching...You are now in a position, to rebuild, to reflect and to start with a strong platform. It's about investing in our people and their dreams and their aspiration for them to have comfortable living conditions.”
In just one day, after a tropical wave last week, the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government reported that 399 roofs were blown off, leaving many in need of emergency home repairs.
As a way to provide more assistance to affected and vulnerable families, the commission signed a memorandum of agreement with Habitat for Humanity after the grant distribution ceremony.
The two organisations will work towards repairing deteriorating homes or homes affected by sudden natural disasters. The commission will provide the material and Habitat for Humanity will provide the labour.
The commission's CEO Elroy Julien said, “We are delighted that the agency's policy and their work involves reduction of vulnerabilities and risks of shelters and preservation of homes for the vulnerable and less fortunate. This partnership will contribute to improving the standard of living, communities and the worlds of many."
Julien said this partnership means the commission is en route to “touching many more lives across TT.
“We already have a well-integrated portfolio of intervention, which has been designed to reduce poverty, thereby improving the standard of living of the family. Our journey of service continues and we will continue to partner with any organisation or agency desirous of building a better, brighter, stronger tomorrow for the less fortunate and vulnerable in our society.”
Chairman of the commission Anthony Campbell said he looked forward to working with Habitat for Humanity.
He also encouraged those whose homes were damaged by disasters to take advantage of the emergency repair and reconstruction grants available.
Cudjoe also said she anticipates the work that will be done through this new partnership to improve the standard of living for hundreds.