“When you arrive we will have a lovely fruit salad waiting for you.” These were the words that marked the end of my first conversation with Nicole Joseph-Chin, social entrepreneur and founder of Ms
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Children’s solution to poverty to shape national policy
Essays written by ten-year-old school children on the social ills caused by squatting are to influence policy and legislative changes governing this troubling issue, which affects 25 per cent of the population. Speaking at the awards ceremony held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), South campus, chairman of the Land Settlement Agency (LSA) Nisha Mathura-Allahar said the suggestions and recommendations made by the standard three pupils, who participated in the agency’s primary schools’ essay writing project awards ceremony, would not be placed on a shelf to collect dust.
She said the points of views expressed would be made into an electronic book, and would shape national policy to address poverty reduction and generally improve the quality of life. Housing Minister, Dr Roodal Moonilal, who addressed the audience said, “Over the last 25 years, squatting has become a serious problem in T&T. The LSA estimates that one in every seven families is squatting. The vast majority of squatters come from depressed areas and are exposed to all the accompanying social ills of these communities, ranging from high crime, limited opportunities for meaningful employment and deplorable living conditions.”