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..MP: Do More For At-risk Youth

..MP: Do more for at-risk youth

GET serious about helping at-risk youth.

This is the call from the Member of Parliament for Chaguanas East, Vandana Mohit, while speaking at the Opposition’s media briefing yesterday.

Mohit said given the recent killing of 12 year old Ezekiel Paria in Laventille and the 2022 killing of Jamal Modeste of Enterprise, the Government should provide ‘measures of saviour’ to the nation’s youth.

Mohit said through conversations with social workers, she was told there were a lack of resources, laws, and systems to deliver ‘any meaningful or significant impact’ to the affected children.

‘Many children today are suffering from the lack of basics and abuse, without any hope or relief. And, therefore, I want to use this forum… to call upon the Government to get serious about providing measures of saviour,’ she said. The ‘measures of saviour’, she said, would provide ‘at-risk’ youth with activities that promote positive youth development through sport, recreational, cultural and educational opportunities.

She said while the nation’s youth were provided with opportunities to secure a certificate, there were no systems for them to improve their skills and competencies. Increased training opportunities were necessary to absorb the youth who completed such programmes, she said.

Mohit added that community centres should ‘facilitate educational, vocational, rehabilitation, and mental health modules’ for its youths.

She said while in May 2023 the Prime Minister had ‘ordered’ the Minister of Sports and Community Development to develop rules for these community centres, she had not yet seen any implemented.

‘We are in a position where you have one man and one woman controlling community centres in at-risk communities, where these young people do not have the opportunity to even enter these community centres.

‘What is happening with these community centres? Where are the rules, so that these programmes can take place in these community centres, and we can help our youth right within their own communities,’ she said.

She said the situation demanded the PM act immediately and establish a children of crime fund to help vulnerable children, as the Child Affairs Unit fell under the remit of the Office of the Prime Minister.

‘The Prime Minister can summon and action monies when he wants to because we have seen him saying that the Minister of Finance will make these monies available for the fight against crime.

‘Well, we call on the Prime Minister to immediately put it in place. The first incentive (is to) establish the children of crime fund,’ she said.

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