What We Do
Community development in Trinidad and Tobago subscribes to the broad tenets defined by the internationally accepted United Nations definition of community development. This initiative subscribes to people’s combined efforts in local communities and the government and other external agencies as a developmental method for improving communities’ social, cultural, and economic conditions and integrating communities into the national planning framework.
The official policy framework of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago outlines seven interconnected pillars for sustainable development. The Ministry subscribes to pillar six, which promotes a process of people-centered development.
We are ideally situated to be the key driver of the mission. It mirrors the government’s programme overview for the mobilisation and engagement of communities throughout Trinidad to contribute to our nation’s success, with everyone benefitting from it.
Our Community Development Model focuses on a multifaceted approach to community intervention through the following programmes;
1. Group Registration – community organisations are encouraged to develop an official association with the Ministry through registration. The Community Development Division recognises the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Village and Community Councils and its regional bodies as coordinating structures for village and community councils. The division also works with other community-based organisations with a legitimate existence to promote specialised interest relating to women, sports, youth, culture, agriculture, and social and economic issues.
2. Community Education – the division promotes non-formal education programmes to complement Trinidad’s non-formal education system.
This programme consists of four components:
- Domestic Support/Skills Training Projects which exposes the economically disadvantaged citizens to skills training to enhance existing skills or learn a new skill to assist them in becoming engaged in home-based production of goods and services to compensate for deficiency or absence of reliable household income
- Entrepreneurial Development Projects promote skills enhancement and business training as a prerequisite for launching into micro business enterprises.
- Leadership Development Projects aimed to improve the organisational skills of existing community leaders and ensure the sustainability of authority structures in organisations through the availability of trained human resource repository.
- Community awareness and Sensitisation Project comprises lectures and related activities focusing on social issues that confront citizens during their daily lives.
3. Community Building Programme – cognizant that communities need physical infrastructure to meet, plan, and convert their ideas and creative intuition into programmes and projects. The division constructs, modernise, refurbishes and maintains Community Centres, Regional Complexes, and Civic Centres. Management of these facilities is paramount to the Ministry’s mission of promoting inclusivity and maximising these facilities’ use.
4. Craft Development Programme – preserves the creativity and artistic ingenuity of local artisans. It also promotes craft production as a viable contributor to economic diversification and job creation.
Projects promoted include:
- Skills training
- Special training for the disadvantaged
5. Community Action for Revival and Empowerment (C.A.R.E.) Programme – The CARE programme is a Grant offered to Community- Based, Faith-based, Cultural, and other Non-Governmental Organizations and individuals supporting projects that contribute to building the community, cultural, religious, and creative sectors of Trinidad and Tobago. This programme caters to several critical community intervention projects to address communities’ basic needs and development aspirations. Project requests should be submitted through district offices. A committee from the Ministry processes these projects.
6. The Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition (PMBVTC) – The PMBVTC is an annual developmental programme with a competitive element. Its overall purpose is to discover and develop latent talent and traditions of all village/community councils, youth groups, women’s groups, sporting and cultural organisations, and other groups within communities in Trinidad and Tobago. This programme was conceptualised to build cultural, environmental, and sporting skills of people within indigenous traditions.