Cudjoe urges citizens in need: Help us to help you

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Shamfa Cudjoe.

Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe says while the government is prepared and willing to help those in need, it was the duty of citizens to take the first step in accessing these services by applying to the relevant agencies.

Cudjoe made the remarks during her feature address at a distribution ceremony for emergency repair and reconstruction assistance grants from the National Commission for Self Help Ltd at the Diego Martin South Community Centre, on Friday.

Cudjoe commended the grant’s recipients for being proactive in applying for help and encouraged others in need to take the initiative and apply to benefit from different programmes and resources through the government.

Likening the work of governments to a marriage with the people they served, Cudjoe said both partners had a role to play and encouraged them to do their part in building better communities.

“Right now as I speak there are people who are still at home hoping to receive a grant and have not moved a leg or a finger to send out an application form, reach out to their councillor for assistance and guidance on how to access these resources.

“That’s what democracy is about for the people by the people. Our work doesn’t end on election day, it begins on election day and ust as we have our roles as a government, you have your own duty too as citizens.”

Cudjoe added that she was optimistic the grants would go a long way towards not only improving the condition of the recipients’ homes but also improve the overall quality of their lives and hoped it would encourage them to continue striving for excellence.

For his part CEO of the National Commission for Self Help Ltd Gary Romain said he was happy that the work of the commission can go towards improving the lives of those in most need.

Noting the financial difficulties faced during the covid19 pandemic Romain said the work of the commission has continued to accommodate families in need and urged the recipients to use the grants for their intended purpose.

“Today I would like all grant recipients to consider themselves very fortunate since we have applicants on our database many of whom are approved and are awaiting implementation.

“Therefore the fact that you have been selected to receive grants signals that your case is amongst the most vulnerable.

“In this regard we ask that you use your grants for it’s intended purpose.

“Use the grant to improve the quality of your life and that of your family and use it to improve your personal well-being.”

At the ceremony 24 recipients received grants for home improvement.

The grants distributed amounted to $387,423.55 in total.