Youth Ministry Welcomes 80 New Caregivers to the GAPP

Minister of Education – Dr. the Honoruable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly (Centre) stands with (L-R) Vice President, Student Affairs – COSTAATT – Dr. Helen Cumberbatch; Chair of the Advisory Committee on National Service – Dr. Ruby Alleyne; National Service Coordinator – MYDNS – Mrs. Gachelle Gilkes-Edwards; Youth Officer III – MYDNS – Ms. Sherry-Ann Ramlal; GAPP Facilitator – MYDNS –Ms. Jody Ramcharita and Research Analyst – MYDNS – Kobe Sandy. To the back are participants of the GAPP.

“Young persons I ask you to passionately give care to the elderly people you are entrusted with.” This was the request made by the National Service Coordinator at the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS), Mrs. Gachelle Gilkes-Edwards as she welcomed young and vibrant caregivers to the Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme (GAPP).

Mrs. Gilkes-Edwards made the request as she delivered the Welcome Remarks at the GAPP’s Relaunch and Orientation Session that was held on Wednesday 24th April, 2024 at the Radisson Hotel, Port of Spain. She went on to describe the GAPP as a “structured opportunity,” under the MYDNS for young persons to dedicate their lives to the service of their country.

The GAPP is an intensive short-term intergenerational programme, which aims to inculcate discipline, impart knowledge and promote a sense of caring for the elderly among cohorts between the ages of 17 – 35 years.

In recognizing the need for more caregivers in the programme the MYDNS is expanding the GAPP by engaging a new cadre of caregivers and exposing more persons to GAPP and its benefits. The 80 young persons were selected through strategic alliances between the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT) and the Civilain Conservation Corps (CCC). Benefited Nursing and Geriatric Care graduates from these programmes now have an opportunity to give national service to the country, while being offered a stipend and training development.

Delivering the feature address was Minister of Education, Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly. Minister Gadsby-Dolly thanked the MYDNS for taking the initiative to collaborate with COSTAATT and CCC. She also highlighted the government’s commitment to providing opportunities for the young people of Trinidad and Tobago “to earn and learn”.

The MYDNS will open applications in July 2024 to accept 200 more young persons certified in Nursing, Geriatric Care and related fields from any accredited institution to be caregivers in the GAPP.

Also speaking at the event was Ms. Sherry-Ann Ramlal, Youth Officer III, MYDNS and Mr. Michael Williams whose mother benefited from a GAPP caregiver.

The Ministry of Youth Development and National Service remains committed to bringing all key stakeholders together to promote youth development and encourage civic-minded citizens to contribute to national service across Trinidad and Tobago.