December 16, 2017 The Honourable Randall Mitchell- Remarks- Opening of the Carenage Homework Centre- February 24, 2018
‘Nurturing our children today to be self-assured adults of the future’
A Very Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and UDeCOTT, it is a pleasure for me, to deliver opening remarks and provide an overview of the Carenage Homework Centre and Police Youth Club, here in the Prime Minister’s constituency of Diego Martin West.
This Homework Center and Police Youth Club is one of UDeCOTT’s special projects, and has been completed by re-using and re-purposing the Old Carenage Police Station. This is indeed an excellent idea because of its close proximity to residential areas, schools and the Western Main Road.
The re-purposing of this building not only demonstrates what can be done in light of our limited resources, but also shows a commitment to come up with solutions to alleviate many of the social problems we are experiencing today. This Centre will be used to provide a venue of safety, comfort, mentorship and positive reinforcement for the young people in Carenage and environs so that they may become better and more productive citizens.
The Centre as you will see, consists of three separate buildings.
The Main building has been restored and will be used to house a resource library on the ground floor…and a study hall/multimedia room on the first floor. All of the buildings are equipped with energy efficient and environmentally friendly features in keeping with modern design principles. You will also realize that the buildings are outfitted to meet the needs of those living with certain disabilities.
The ‘Back House’ has also been completely restored and will accommodate a Children’s Reading and Learning Centre. The building along the Northern boundary, will accommodate male and female washrooms, an office for the staff and storage facilities.
When you view the space you will realize that it was designed, even in its landscaping, to create a peaceful, modern, nurturing environment so that our young ones can learn, grow and socialize – both indoors and outdoors.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this project would not have been possible without the oversight of the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago, through its chairman, board and management team. UDeCOTT continues to deliver our country’s much-needed projects in a timely and efficient manner. This must be acknowledged and recognised.
I would like to thank Dr. Dorrell Phillip Spain who has advocated in favour of the idea of Homework Centres since 1998, and it was a PNM administration which lent its support to the idea, noting its importance within communities. The PNM Cabinet then made the idea national in scope by raising it as a matter of concern and laying plans for its future development in the 2006-2007 Budget.
I would also like to thank the Honourable Prime Minister for his incredible vision and for his passion for continued improvement and development of the Carenage community.
Homework Centres have proven to provide safe havens within our communities for young people to study and utilise their time wisely after school, especially those who may be most at risk. In this way, our youth can be empowered to change their world view and recognize that education is the key to them becoming self-assured adults willing to expand their horizons and become patriotic, civic-minded and productive people.
We trust that this newly refurbished space will serve the community of Carenage for many, many years to come.
Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for listening and for allowing me to welcome you to this beautiful venue. Another UDeCOTT project signed, sealed, delivered.