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Oropouche West MP Stacy Roopnarine is urging citizens to look out for the children in their communities as a means of preventing and stopping child abuse. She was speaking to the media at an Easter treat for children of the Haven for Hope Children’s Home, Pluck Road, San Francique, Penal. “We have to go back to the days where it really took a village to raise a child. That means persons not only have to look after their own children but all the children in their community,” said Roopnarine. She added that the high number of incidents pointed to a lack of morals and ethics by some citizens.
“It is very sad. It shows that in some cases, persons have strayed away from religion, morals and ethics,” she said, “because when these things happen it really shows that there is a disconnect, a gap in terms of society.” She said citizens should use the Easter weekend to reflect and pray and do some soul-searching. “Let us go back to religion, principles and have some morality in our society,” she added. Roopnarine urged citizens to report all instances of abuse to the relevant authorities, adding: “Only if the authorities know about abuse then they can do something about it.”
Her visit to the home comes eight days after a 14-year-old boy died while playing with a friend at the St Michael’s School, Diego Martin. The child, Brandon Hargreaves, was rescued from a dog kennel in 2012. Minister of Youth, Gender and Child Development Clifton De Coteau, who attended the boy’s funeral on Wednesday, said a report on the incident would be ready “within two weeks.” She said the visit was aimed at bringing joy to the lives of the children in the home, adding: “We had lots of activities and presents for the children.” Roopnarine, who is also Minister in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, told reporters her ministry was carrying out works on two of the three landslips in Pluck Road. She said the repairs were costing the government approximately $20 million. She said landslips were more common in south Trinidad where there is “a certain unstable soil type.”