The Ministry of Youth Development and National Service has appointed a committee to develop a national service programme for young people.
The minister, Foster Cummings, said his ministry is always looking for ways to ensure young people have the tools required to be better citizens.
He spoke on Monday at an appointment ceremony for the committee at the Government Plaza Auditorium in Port of Spain.
“When we look at our communities in the past, many know that the village raised the child, but today we have moved away from that. What else can we do to make sure that young people have guidance, mentorship and education?” he said.
He said the national service programme would be offered on a voluntary basis.
“I am confident that the members that have agreed to serve on this committee can give us a product that we can work with, I am also certain that we need to market this in such a way so that we can attract the young people.”
Cummings said he had spent time interacting with participants of this programme, and they had expressed their readiness to become involved in the productive sector.
“I can tell you that they are looking at us as their leaders, to reach out to them and to give them some hope to as to how they can redirect the path they have taken,” he said.
He said the Government has approved the establishment of a national service complex at Beach Camp in Palo Seco.
“This youth complex has all the facilities that will be able to accommodate as many young people (as possible). It is equipped with a basketball court, swimming pool, recreation ground and more,” he said.
Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said co-operaation between the two ministries is essential for the national service programme to move forward.
“I stand with the full support of the Ministry of Education for any programme that is instituted by the Minister of Youth Development and National Service, because we are joined in service to our young people. What more important service can there be than the service to our country?” she said.
Advisory Committee for the National Service Programme:
Chairman: Dr Ruby Alleyne
Vice chairman: Afzal Muradali
Major David Benjamin
Dr Henry Charles
Dr Patrice Parris Searles