Minister Wants Youth Facilities to Operate for 14 Hours a Day

“Youth Facilities should eventually be open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. at least 6 days a week.” This is the vision of Minister of Youth Development and National Service, the Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds. The Minster was speaking after he visited the St James, Laventille and Malick Youth Facilities on Saturday 6th February, 2021.

“We have remarkable facilities delivered through significant investments, with which to implement the mandate of the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS). Our aim is to advance the youth development agenda and create safe spaces for young people to be trained; so they can contribute to national development,” said Minister Hinds.

Minister Hinds was accompanied by Permanent Secretary Farook Hosein, Deputy Permanent Secretaries Marcia London-Mc Kellar and Claire Davidson-Williams and other members of staff.

The Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds – Minister of Youth Development and National Service (R) listens as Ms. Betty-Ann Augustine – Manager, Laventille Youth Facility (C) gives the MYDNS officials a tour of the Facility. (L-R) Deputy Permanent Secretaries. Mrs. Marcia London-Mc Kellar and Mrs. Claire Davidson-Williams listen intently.

The tour began at the St. James Youth Facility, Terrebrulee Road, St James – a 3-storey building which houses an auditorium; gymnasium; dance studio and classrooms to facilitate culinary arts; spa culture; video editing and graphic design. The MYDNS team then continued to the Laventille Youth Facility where they viewed the auditorium, meeting rooms and homework centre at the Upper Laventille Road location.

The tour ended at the Malick Youth Facility, 7th Avenue, Malick – a facility equipped with classrooms for Woodworking; Electrical Installation, Beauty Culture and an auditorium for events.

“We have 6 Youth Facilities under the Ministry’s purview and we want to put these facilities to the best use,” explained Permanent Secretary, Farook Hosein. “We will be working with the Facility Managers to identify the deficiencies and how they can be resolved,” he added.

Youth Facilities are multi-purpose youth-friendly spaces where young people between the ages of 10 and 35 can meet to participate in youth development activities.

The Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds – Minister of Youth Development and National Service (R) visits the Cabinet Making Work Room at the Malick Youth Facility. Also on the tour are (L-R) Mrs. Marcia London-McKellar – Deputy Permanent Secretary; Mr. Wouldron Louison – Manager, Malick Youth Facility and Mr. Farook Hosein – Permanent Secretary.

“These visits are important because we can equip ourselves with the facts; not just rely on second-hand information,” stressed Minister Hinds at the end of the tour. Since November 2020, Minister Hinds and his team have been visiting facilities which fall under the remit of the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service with a view to modernise and upgrade the spaces. Over the past three months, the Minister has visited the Youth Development and Apprenticeship Centres in Persto Praesto and Chatham, and the St Michael’s School for Boys in Diego Martin.

The Ministry of Youth Development and National Service remains committed to bringing all stakeholders together to promote youth development and encouraging civic minded citizens to contribute to National Service across Trinidad and Tobago. The Ministry has responsibility for a number of Youth Development Programmes and Services, the Friendly Societies Division, the Cooperative Development Division, the National Entrepreneurship Development Company (NEDCO) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Military-Led Academic Training Programme (MiLAT) and Military-Led Programme of Apprenticeship and Reorientation Training (MYPART).