Councillors get Sensitisation Training

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Caption: The Office of the Prime Minister Gender and Child Affairs and the National AIDS Coordinating Committee hosted Sensitisation for Local Government Councillors at City Hall in Port of Spain on Monday

THE Gender and Child Affairs Division of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has launched a three-part sensitisation training series aimed at educating councillors on how to better serve their communities.

The initiative, which began at City Hall in Port of Spain on Monday is conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government.

The training series is designed to inform councillors and aldermen about the services and resources available through the Gender and Child Affairs Division and the National AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC). Annalean Inniss, the acting permanent secretary of the Local Government Ministry, highlighted the importance of these sensitisation activities. “Sensitisation activities play a critical role in ensuring government resources are used to address the needs of the population, particularly marginalised segments,” she said.

Emphasising the need for gender awareness and responsiveness to diverse community needs, Inniss stated, “It is important that we understand and address the unique needs and challenges faced by different segments of society, including women, children, and marginalised groups. Furthermore, we must ensure that government services and resources are accessible and available to all members of society regardless of their gender, location, or socioeconomic status.”

Inniss stressed the importance of collaboration between ministries and stakeholders to enhance local government’s capacity to tackle gender-related challenges. “Officials must continue to foster a collaborative environment to increase the capacity of local government to effectively address gender-related challenges in their communities,” she added.

Kurt Meyer, permanent secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, spoke on behalf of Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy. Meyer addressed the ongoing issues of domestic violence and HIV/AIDS stigmatisation, noting the need for continued education. “It is incumbent on us that we educate and empower all of society, including ourselves, to address these issues,” Meyer said.

He elaborated on the Gender and Child Affairs Division’s efforts, stating, “At Gender and Child Affairs, we embarked on an aggressive campaign to heighten awareness on these national issues. Part of this campaign includes a series of conversations with representatives of all municipalities across Trinidad and Tobago. It is our intent to empower local government councillors with the knowledge, insights, and tools necessary to champion gender equality, child rights advocacy, and HIV/AIDS awareness in their communities.”

Meyer also mentioned a similar session held in April with the administrators of the Tobago House of Assembly, underscoring the importance of collaboration in achieving the ministry’s goals.

The training session featured presentations by NACC official Ian Ramdahin; Irma Bailey-Reyes, coordinator of the Child Affairs Division; Shelley-Ann Hart, director of the Gender Affairs Division; and Richie Bansraj, gender training officer of the Gender Affairs Division.

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