Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 27th 2013 Contents A13
Friday, September 27, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
9am to 12pm
18th & 19th
9am to 1pm
2 day beginners
Register online at:
Comedian Errol Fabien, who has signalled
his intention to contest the St Joseph seat in a
yet to be announced by-election, used his expe-
rience in overcoming his drug addiction demons
to inspire graduating trainees of the Civilian
Conservation Corps (CCC).
Some 900 trainees from across T&T, who com-
pleted a six-month programme in various dis-
ciplines including peace programme, disaster
relief, clean-up campaigns as well as recreational
programmes to foster the healthy stimulation of
peer-to-peer interaction, graduated on Wednes-
The event took place at the Sport & Physical
Education Centre at the St Augustine campus of
the University of the West Indies.
"None of us are responsible for where we start
off, but we are all responsible for where we go
in this life," said Fabien.
Fabien said his struggle with drugs began when
he was 25.
"My residence was a piece of cardboard on a
pavement in San Juan," he said, admitting that
he had chosen drugs over his own family before
being admitted to a rehabilitation facility.
He said the first time he smoked marijuana
was in the Second Form, and the first sober deci-
sion he made after that was to complete his 91-
day programme in rehab.
Since then, his life has only gone upwards.
He said a few years after leaving rehab, he
scored his first job writing, presenting, directing
and producing at the local television station
Gayelle, and returned to the rehabilitation facility,
this time as a counsellor.
"The Civilian Conservation Corps, like rehab,
is for people who want it, not those who need
it," he told the trainees.
He said it had been 25 years, six months and
23 days that he had been completely drug-free.
Programme director Cheryl Richardson said
there had been a steady decrease in the age of
criminals over the years, so more focus should
be placed on programmes like the CCC to promote
the welfare of socially-marginalised young adults.
Through a diverse range of educational, recre-
ational, cultural and communal activities, she
said, trainees have been transformed into empow-
ered citizens whose minds have been "rewired
with the positive attitudes they need to be suc-
cessful," a process she refers to as "encoded exer-
"Six months ago, trainees had no clue what
they wanted to be. Two weeks ago, I heard them
speaking of lifetime goals," she declared.
She said according to the Chamber of Com-
merce, crime was the greatest factor affecting
"The economic reality of T&T can leave
teenagers out of the labour market," Richardson
said, adding, "Thus, crime becomes an acceptable
alternative for them."
She said the reason the CCC was the most
successful youth intervention initiative was its
constant monitoring and disciplining of trainees
by members of the Regiment.
"We have changed the course of the future for
these youths and improved their chances for a
safe, productive life," she said, celebrating both
their personal and professional growth.
Unfortunately, however, she said, over the
course of the programme, two trainees were mur-
Nonetheless, she said the programme was com-
mitted to continue helping their graduates in any
way it can.
Fabien's victory over
drugs inspires graduates
A section of the graduating class of the Civilian Conservation Corps 2013 cycle at
the UWI Spec auditorium in St Augustine on Wednesday. PHOTO: BRAHAM DIAZ
No bail for
A 23-year-old man from Tobago accused
of setting an apartment on fire while his girl-
friend and her mother were sleeping inside
was denied bail on Wednesday.
Alyandro Dumas, of Don Miguel Road, San
Juan, appeared before Chief Magistrate Marcia
Ayers-Caesar charged with two charges of
arson arising out the incident, which occurred
at the family s apartment at Dundonald Street,
Port-of-Spain, last Saturday.
Dumas, originally from Plymouth, Tobago,
was charged with unlawfully setting fire to
the apartment, knowing that his girlfriend
Jamelia Roberts, 23, and her 50-year-old
mother Sherma McPhearson were inside.
Dumas stood silently with his hands clasped
behind his back as the charges were being
The charges were laid indictably and he was
not called upon to plead.
The fire started around midnight. Both
women escaped with minor injuries by jump-
ing 20 feet to safety. Fire officers were able
to extinguish the blaze before it spread to
After the charges were read, court prosecutor
Sgt Anderson Gonzales said Dumas should
be denied bail, citing the serious nature of
the offences. He said Dumas committed them
while on bail for another violent offence.
The case was adjourned to October 23.
Links Archive September 26th 2013 September 28th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page