Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 18th 2014 Contents A25
Friday, July 18, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
C WITH WENDY RAHAMUT
COOKING CAMP FOR KIDS
August 4th, 5th, 6th &7th
4 fun filled days of cooking for
ages 8 years to 12 years
9am to 1pm
Venue: San Fernando
The not-so-very-secret news
about the totally horrendous man-
agement and sickening conditions at
St Michael s Home for Boys reads
like a Charles Dickens novel. Any-
one, official, clergy or otherwise,
who says they did not know about
the adverse conditions at the
school, is an out and out liar. Harsh
words but very true.
St Michael s is where you send
children who already show a
propensity for criminal behaviour to
take a short course on how to get
into the Arouca facility for gradu-
ates. The Arouca prison is where
you get to see the difference
between the two correctional facili-
We are not being facetious. Peo-
ple have been aware for years that
all is not hunky dory for the youths
housed at St Michael s or even St
Jude s Home for Girls. The collec-
tive attitude appears to be "is poor
people children who used to not
having anything" so its good
enough for the inmates.
The level and training of staff
reflects this assumption that these
places of correction need not be
fancy or well-run. How many are
trained social workers? How many
have a decent level of education?
How many receive on-going train-
ing in child care? Is there a psychi-
atrist or psychologist employed for
counselling of both staff and stu-
dents? It s only when a student
runs away or worse yet, if someone
dies whilst in care, that you get
government intervention. Is there a
properly constituted board of direc-
tors? The only agreement to be
arrived at is that successive govern-
ments are to be equally blamed.
While we must agree that child
abuse occurs in wealthy homes
exactly as it occurs in poor ones
(and in T&T that includes incest)
the children from financially-chal-
lenged families get to move into
these living hells first.
It would be instructive if past
students who have managed to lead
successful lives, be interviewed for
suggestions on ways to alleviate
day-to-day horrors. The Vision on
Mission NGO might well be
approached to give some free advice
Is the Ministry of Gender and
Child Development past the stage of
sending out cute advertisements?
Well, the World Cup has come and
gone and among all the ifs and buts one
thing stands out as being common to all
and sundry---it was German teamwork
that won the day.
Could it be that if we (T&T) adopted
this attitude that we too could succeed,
not only as a football team but also as a
As one of my friends keeps on saying
"Dream on and good luck."
CAN SUGGEST HOME
Teamwork won the day
No consultations before
Mr Mayor, it is a crying shame that in your wisdom
and caring for the community, when you took it upon
yourself and your office to change the name of King
George V Park to Nelson Mandela Park, you did not
think it fit to hold consultations with residents of the
There is a history behind our park. The high-handed
way in which your office has and is handling this issue is
appalling to say the least.
It is indeed rather authoritarian and dictatorial that
this unfortunate decision has been taken. It does not
speak well of democracy.
Chandra Lee Kong,
...Arima park renamed too
The PNM-held council of Port-of-Spain has renamed
George V Park Nelson Mandela park without any con-
sultations with the burgesses whatsoever.
The PNM-held council of Arima has changed the
name of Eden Rahim Park to (former Mayor) Ashton
Ford Park without any consultation with the burgesses
That is governance PNM-style.
Children deserve protection
The alleged activities and suspicious death of 13-
year-old Brandon Hargreaves, a resident of the St
Michael's Home for Boys in Diego Martin, paints a very
scary and frightful image of the living conditions which
these boys are forced to endure.
Among the reported startling revelations is that a fe-
male worker who took a young male to her home, later
became pregnant and has since given birth to a baby,
believed to have been fathered by the under-aged in-
Apart from the reports of physical and psychological
abuse, these acts of sexual abuse are nothing short of
These allegations of abuse are disheartening and
those responsible should face the full brunt of the law.
These children deserve every protection against such
alleged undeserving, uncaring and abusive individuals.
A fish vendor cleans a fish for his customers along the Mosquito creek San Fernando on Tuesday afternoon.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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