Self Help Grant Distribution

Ministry of Sport and Community Development


Self Help Grant Distribution


Friday 27th November, 2020

9:00 a.m.



Feature Address

The Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe

Minister of Sport and Community Development and Member of Parliament for Tobago West




  • Anthony Campbell, Chairman of the National Commission for Self Help Limited


  • Janice Perouse Sullivan, Deputy Chairman of The National Commission and other Directors of the Board of the National Commission For Self Help Limited


  • Elroy Julien, Chief Executive Officer of the National Commission for Self Help Limited and other staff members of the commission


  • Grant recipients


  • Specially Invited Guests


  • Members of the Media


  • Ladies and gentlemen


Good morning

It is a real honour and privilege to be with you today to provide much-needed support to the communities of the South and relief to the families who have requested the assistance of the government.

This is a critical moment in world history, and more specifically a defining juncture in the history of our nation state, partly due to the advent of tumultuous economic times and this global pandemic, and mostly because of this government’s deliberate decision and steadfast position to place laser focus and attention and developing our people, and redouble our efforts to eradicate poverty and reverse inequality. We are committed to creating opportunities, giving every citizen who is willing to try and willing to work, a chance for better and brighter life.


We continue to invest in public schools and tertiary education, sporting and recreational facilities, support to entrepreneurs and the wider business community, building roads, ports, bridges and other critical pieces of infrastructure to generate economic activity, and the development across the country. But we could all agree that the true essence of development lies in investing in or greatest resource, our people, all of our people, from every crease, crevice, race, political and economic background throughout this nation.

In every community around this country, the government has provided and continue deliver programmes that work to provide ladders of opportunity to our youth and the less fortunate in the community.

Everybody needs help in some way or the other, but some need it much more than others do. This government is committed to ensuring that the necessary assistance is extended to the least fortunate among us, the poor, the destitute, the truly disadvantaged.

From food cards to public disability support, senior citizens grants, water tank assistance, latrine eradication, agri grants, small business grants, free education, support to community groups and ngos. There’s something for everyone, despite our economic circumstance, we keep social support alive and kicking, so that there is always a lifeline, always hope…showing that we genuinely care about truly disadvantaged citizen.

The National Commission for Self Help Limited is vital to facilitating the Government’s mandate to build sustainable communities and ensure that no one is left behind. Over the past … years we have been supporting families and building communities as a major part of our contribution to the national development thrust.

Our suite of grants include:

  • Structural home repairs via Emergency Repairs Reconstruction Assistance Grants (ERRAGS), which accommodate fires and natural disasters valued up to $25,000
  • Minor Repairs Reconstruction Grants (MRRGS) to accommodate minor structural home repairs valued up to $15,000 and
  • Development Projects (DPs) to accommodate community development projects such as bridges, roads, and paving exercises.


These grants support the goal of attaining sustainability by facilitating personal safety and security of families, commerce, entrepreneurship, strengthening communities and improving the standard of living for residents.

When development projects such as the erection of bridges, road paving, and the refurbishment of communal spaces are executed,  the multiplier effect is enhanced, leading to an increase and ease in the movement of people, goods ,services and commerce, promoting entrepreneurship, generating economic activity, and restoring energy in the community.

Over the past five years, the National Commission for Self Help Limited has disbursed over 72 million dollars in grants across Trinidad and Tobago. Today, 1.2 million dollars in support grants will be provided to 104 families from:

  • Fyzabad
  • San Fernando East
  • San Fernando West
  • Point Fortin
  • La Brea
  • Siparia
  • Tabaquite
  • Caroni Central
  • Moruga/Tableland
  • Oropouche West
  • Oropouche East
  • Couva North
  • Couva South
  • Chaguanas West
  • Chaguanas East
  • Mayaro
  • Naparima
  • Point –A- Pierre
  • Princes Town
  • Caroni East


many of whom would have had structural damages to their homes due to erosion. flooding, or the usual wear, and tear.

Despite the financially challenging times and the added pressure of the global pandemic, forcing state administrations all over the world to make huge budgetary cuts, and limit social support, I am pleased that this government has decided to ramp up social assistance a,d reengineer our systems to ensure that all our citizens have a fighting chance and that no one is left behind.

Through this grant to embolden our efforts to give every family the opportunity to live a decent life, to improve the lot for the applicant’s household and create hope for generations to come.

Step by step, programme by programme, grant by grant, we are carefully crafting a culture and creating an environment where all our people can succeed despite great odds


So this grant does Not just confer financial assistance,  but it symbolises our commitment to fighting poverty, protecting and preserving the institution called the family,  creating opportunity for social mobility, dignity and sense of possibility and opportunity for our children and the all people of the national community.

That’s the big picture, that’s the purpose of the investment. So It is not ‘free money’.  These Grants are funded by taxpayers’ dollars, which could have been used toward buildings, roads, drains or physical infrastructure,  but we have chosen to directly invest in you.

We have a duty to ensure that stringent compliance and reporting measures are implemented so that tax payer dollars are to appropriately managed, properly allocated and well accounted for.

The applications are countless and the allocation is limited, however we aim to assist as many individuals as possible. It is therefore crucial that when you receive a grant, you use it for its intended purpose. It is not for luxury goods and having a good time. It is to help to put you and your family in a better, safer, and more comfortable state.

When it is abused, two things happen. The same people come back requesting assistance from the Government for the same issue, resulting in wasted time and resources. It denies others the opportunity to attain better living conditions. Therefore, I hope that you, the 104 recipients here today, be steered by good conscience in ensuring that the grant serves its intended purpose.


Thank the terrific team at National Commission of Self Help,

I want to acknowledge and thank the terrific team at the National Commission for Self Help Limited for their continued support. Your task is not an easy one, but it is a critical one indeed.

To all the stakeholders who continue to support the government’s mission to serve and improve the lot for the less fortunate, I thank you.

As we tread these choppy waters and face an uncertain future, May we remain steadfast in our commitment to securing Trinidad and Tobago, and supporting one another. It is my deepest and truest belief that We’ll get over these hurdles, and when the dust settles we’ll come out on the brighter side, better, stronger and most importantly, together.

Thank you for reaching out for assistance, for believing in this government and trusting ability to deliver.

May God bless you

And may God richly bless our nation.


(from which areas?

What is main concern in this area? E.g. flooding, fire, erosion etc.