Bank Village saw an Empowerment Centre officially opened on Wednesday after a $562,343.00 refurbishment of an old building by the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP).
Residents were finally granted access to a building which had been constructed over a decade ago by URP for community use but had never been opened and fell into a dilapidated state; victim to vandalism and home to stray dogs, criminals and vagrants.
Three such buildings were discovered by Minister of Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Surujrattan Rambachan when he was Minister of Local Government and under his stewardship they were all refurbished and will be open to their respective communities in Whiteland, Claxton Bay and Bank Village.
Rambachan stated that the centers would function:
- To serve as a centre for the empowerment of women and girls, particularly in life skills
- To establish homework and support facilities for children
- To establish rehabilitation programs for drug and alcohol addicts
- To provide support services for girls who become pregnant and are require assistance (counseling etc.)
- To provide a physical space for NGO’s and other civic organizations interested in the type of activities listed above
- To engage in all activities that enhance the above objectives
Couva North MP, Ramona Ramdial expressed heartfelt thanks to Rambachan for another delivered project in her constituency. She said, “It was a personal goal of mine to see this building service especially the young people of the area. The Empowerment Centre will be a place for young people to go after school to continue studies, do research over the internet and access counselling services. It will host community workshops and cater for women and elderly in Bank Village and environs.”
Ramdial stated that her aim was “to get the youth off the streets, out of crime and engaged in productive, positive activities.”