President: Retired people’s group should mentor youth

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

President Christine Kangaloo, third from left, greets president of TTARP Peter Pena and TTARP executive members, from left, Francis Raymond, Dr Jennifer Rouse, Maryling Younglao and Reynold Cooper as they celebrate TTARP’s 30th anniversary and expo at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, last Friday. – Photo by Roger Jacob

PRESIDENT Christine Kangaloo is calling on the TT Association of Retired Persons (TTARP) to start a youth mentorship programme as there are too many youths gone astray in TT.

She made the suggestion while speaking at TTARP’s 30th anniversary celebration at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, where she was unveiled as the organisation’s patron last Friday.

Kangaloo said there was, more than ever, a growing need for elder citizens to mentor their younger charges.

“Looking around the country we see too many examples of youth gone astray. We see too many of them succumbing to all forms of antisocial and criminal conduct.

“I believe positive and appropriate mentorship for the nation’s youth and younger adults is a critical tool in showing our young people better ways to be and better lives to live.”

Trinidad Eye Hospital and Cataract, Vitrectomy and Glaucoma Surgeries (CVRS) personnel screen retirees at TTARP’s 30th anniversary celebration and expo at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, last Friday. – Photo by Roger Jacob

Kangaloo said TTARP would be at an advantage if it were to pursue this venture.

“TTARP has some of the most distinguished and capable elder citizens this country has ever produced. Its membership comprises a wide cross section of persons from every sector of the society and from every field of social and cultural endeavour.”

She added that many of TTARP’s members were “no longer weighed down by the responsibilities of daily employment” and could use their time and talents to mentor youth and young adults.

Kangaloo cited some of the effects of mentoring, including increased secondary school graduation rates, lower secondary school drop-out rates, healthier relationships and lifestyle choices, higher tertiary enrolment rates, enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence, improved behaviour and a decreased likelihood of starting drug and alcohol use.

She said those benefits could put TT in a better position to “develop healthier, happier communities” and “advance as a people and a nation”

The anniversary celebration at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya was attended by hundreds of TTARP members who used the event as an opportunity to network.

Retirees visit the AA Laquis booth at TTARP’s 30th anniversary celebration and expo at Centre of Excellence, Macoya, last Friday. – Photo by Roger Jacob

TTARP also brought more than 100 exhibitors who showcased products and offered free samples.

The theme of this year’s celebration was “Together we are stronger.”

Kangaloo said the theme was a powerful reminder to the entire country of the need for citizens to collaborate and co-operate in community development and national advancement.