Port of Spain, Tuesday 19th July, 2022: ‘This facility establishes a new safe haven for female beneficiaries, 18-25 years, who will transition from community residences’. This was a statement by the Honourable Foster Cummings – Youth Development and National Service Minister, as he delivered remarks at the official opening of the Josephine Shaw House, located at the corner of Oxford and Henry Streets, Port of Spain.
The Josephine Shaw Home, under the management of the Salvation Army, was used as a transition home to provide housing for young women who were entering the work force or completing their education.
Minister Cummings emphasized that the new Josephine Shaw House, which will accommodate 28 residents, will ‘not only offer accommodation to young women as they transition into adulthood, but will also provide a holistic development programme which incorporates Psychosocial Support, Skills Training, Career and Personal Development and Job Placement, for reintegration into society.
The Youth Development Minister also reminded the audience that the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service MYDNS is guided by the National Youth Policy, which emphasises the creation of safe spaces, peaceful communities, and environments; and strives to nurture and guide our youth in a direction that stimulates and propels their growth and development. He further noted that the MYDNS will continue to guide and nurture our nation’s youth, so that they are equipped to develop themselves and shape their very promising futures.
Minister Cummings also gave a message to the young women who will become beneficiaries of the facility, stating ‘we will stay the course to encourage you and to ensure that you acquire the necessary skills to become co-creators of our country’s sustainable future.’
Also speaking at the official opening were, the Honourable Stuart Young, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, who congratulated the Government for implementing this most significant project that has as its beneficiary, one of the vulnerable groups in our society – young women in challenging circumstances.
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Gender and Child Affairs, the Honourable Ayanna Wester-Roy provided a genesis of the project which was subsequently transferred to the MYDNS. She also expressed her gratitude to the Honourable Foster Cummings for ensuring that the project came to fruition.
During the feature address by the Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds, Minister of National Security, he emphasized the benefits that the project will yield for the residents; and spoke of the life and service of Josephine Shaw, after whom the facility is named.
Minister Hinds cut the ribbon and the unveiled a commemorative plaque as part of the official opening of the facilities. The Ministers along with the Media were also given a guided tour of the facility by Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT).
The Ministry of Youth Development and National Service remains committed to bringing all stakeholders together to promote youth development and encourages civic-minded citizens to contribute to national service across Trinidad and Tobago.