Ministry of Social Development and Family Services begins sensitization series with Members of Parliament
Port-of-Spain --- As part of her commitment to provide outreach services at the community level to the Members of Parliament across Trinidad and Tobago, Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Senator the Honourable Donna Cox is pleased to announce that the Public Information, Education and Sensitization Series has officially commenced today, Friday February 5, 2021.
Led by the Corporate Communications and Education Unit, the Ministry was able to engage staff of the Member of Parliament for La Brea, the Honourable Stephen Mc Clashie at the area's constituency sub-office located at #1384 S.S Erin Road, Rancho Quemado, as part of the Ministry’s thrust to ensure that no person is left behind.
The sessions, which are commonly referred to as PIES, forms a strategic tool that is used to exclusively inform MPs, local Government Representatives, community activists and non-governmental groups, as well as, other pertinent community-based stakeholders first-hand, about the Ministry's grants, programmes and services, so that they may be better able to support the Ministry's efforts at helping and empowering citizens at the community level.
During the sessions staff of the Ministry also engage in real-time poverty assessments and seek recommendations from all stakeholders, which are subsequently used to inform a number of policy initiatives and projects aimed towards a more responsive delivery of social services.
According to Ministry officials, PIES also serves as an invaluable pre-cursor to its social impact and community outreach caravan that supports the implementation of this country’s National Social Mitigation Plan (NSMP) - a plan developed to cushion any economic shocks on the vulnerable. Accordingly, the NSMP also seeks to rebuild resilience across households by providing on-site assessment and the determination of the needs of vulnerable citizens throughout communities, while making referrals to the relevant social support mechanisms to these households.
Prior to stay at home restrictions which were mandated by the Government in March 2020, the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services had completed in excess of 39 PIES sessions across the country, which resulted in thirty-nine outreach exercises in traditionally marginalised districts. Communities included Blanchisseuse, Cedros, Guaico/Tamana, Fyzabad, Grande Riviere, Manzanilla and River Estate/Patna, where hundreds of citizens turned up to access services from a wide cross-section of Ministries, state agencies, to gain access to training, employment and entrepreneurial development opportunities.