CSOs awarded grants, dignity kits

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

UNFPA dignity kits –

The Gender and Child Affairs Ministry distributed one-off grants and dignity kits donated by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to over 30 civil society organisations (CSOs) working with victims of domestic violence.

The ceremony took place at the Ministry’s offices in St Clair on Tuesday.

Dignity kits were distributed to 18 CSOs, including the National Domestic Government Shelter; The Shelter; Goshen of the Eternal Light Community; Vision of Hope of the Eternal Light Community, La Brea; Business and Professional Women’s Club Halfway House, Gasparillo; Serenity Place, Guapo; Nekevah Rescue Centre, D’Abadie; Conflict Women; My Golden Callin Abused and Battered Women Ministry; Rape Crisis Society; Families in Action; Com Talk International; TT Community of Positive Women; Groots TT; Immani Kinset; Friends For Life; National Family Services, Ministry of Social Development and Family Services; and NWRHA County St George West Social Work Department.

The dignity kits, a UNFPA initiative originally developed for women in conflict areas, contain menstrual pads, bath soap, multiple pairs of underwear, disinfectant, detergent powder, sanitary napkins, a flashlight, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and a comb, in a backpack. Also included is information on gender-based violence resources available to them.

The CSOs which received one-off grants towards their work were Caribbean Women’s Support Group; My Golden Callin Abused and Battered Women Ministry; Vessels of Virtue Theatrical Team; Light of Hope Full Gospel Ministries; TT Federation of Women’s Institutes Inc; Betheseda – For Persons with Disabilities; Rhythmic Vibrations; Jesus is The Answer Community Outreach; Network of Rural Women Producers TT; Men-of-Purpose; Revival Mission; Coalition Against Domestic Violence; We Code Caribbean; and Eye on Dependency.

In her feature speech, Gender and Child Affairs Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy said Cabinet recently approved a note to Gender and Child Affairs to give additional final support to CSOs.

“You labour in the community on a daily basis. We recognise and appreciate your reach and impact, and that is why it is important for us to equip you with tools to be better able to continue to do the work you do. We recognise it is the first responders in the community who are able to provide support to people at their most critical point of need. You are the ones people will come and talk to.

“I want you to call us out when you think we’re falling short and demand that we listen. If we are to make a meaningful difference in TT, we must work hand in hand, put aside our differences, and work in unity.”

Webster-Roy said on the CSOs to use their power for good and be more intentional in their approach to their work.

“I call on you to use your voices to advocate for change, to use your voices to help our young men and women understand the value of their lives.”