Digicel Foundation Director Bibi Mohamed from left, Carlene Nicholas Holder President of the Paramin Development Committee and Port of Spain West Rotary Club President Gregory Bourne at the launch of the Paramin Community Connect project , at the Paramin Development Community Centre. Photo by Sureash Cholai
Port of Spain West Rotary Club president Gregory Bourne said the $100,000 Epic Grant given by the Digicel Foundation to the club and the Paramin Development Committee (PDC) enabled the committee to upgrade the Paramin Activity Centre as well as fix a drainage problem which had affected the use of the centre.
At the centre on Wednesday last week, Bourne said the club had partnered with the PDC to build the centre in 1992. He said it is home for activities such as children’s camps, birthday parties, and workshops, in addition to housing the offices for the PDC.
The Paramin Development Community Centre. Photo by Sureash Cholai
“Over 4.000 villagers benefit from the use of this centre and the services of the PDC. However, there has been an ongoing problem of flooding when stormwater from the hills come rushing through the property. Aside from the property suffering as a natural path for water during heavy rainfall events, the water breaches the rear door of the centre and flood the entire hall, damaging the property and their furnishings. They had to seal the door permanently.”
He said the Digicel Foundation grant provided the lifeline the Paramin Community Connect needed, as the club was able to provide a modular virtual learning centre for the villagers and address the consistent flooding problem.
“For the first time today, should there be an emergency, occupants can exit the rear of the building.”
Bourne said the grant and associated works had triggered conversations and events with entities such as the Drainage Division of the Works and Transport Ministry, the Digital Transformation Ministry, and the Ministry of Community Development.
Digicel Foundation director Bibi Mohamed-Singh said Paramin is known for its big energy, rich heritage and community spirit, and this was why the project was chosen to receive a grant to transform the activity centre.
Port of Spain West Rotary Club President Gregory Bourne and Digicel Foundation Director Bibi Mohamed-Singh at the launch of the Paramin Community Connect project , at the Paramin Development Community Centre. Photo by Sureash Cholai
“A life returns to normal, residents can enjoy a shared space to foster that sense of community. It was important that this space could be multi-functional to serve the many needs of the Paramin residents. The centre has been outfitted with a robust internet connectivity, along with fixed network devices to create a community ICT centre. We also equipped the centre with broadband compliments of Digicel Plus to ensure no child would be left behind or miss a learning opportunity because of a lack of access to the internet.”
She said movable partitions and sanitising stations had also been installed in the centre.
PDC president Carolyn Nicholas-Holder thanked the Foundation and the club for their assistance.
Port of Spain West Rotary Club President Gregory Bourne and Digicel Foundation Director Bibi Mohamed next to the landslip that threatened the Paramin Development Community Centre at the launch of the Paramin Community Connect project. Photo by Sureash Cholai
“We are honoured that our little village of Paramin has been chosen as one of the many projects funded by Digicel TT to receive technological advancement. We are confident that this initiative would greatly benefit the people of Paramin, especially the youths as it would aid in assisting them to reach their fullest potential and develop holistically.”
She thanked the club for its continuous collaboration with the PDC over the last 45 years.