THA Chief Secretary Orville London told participants at the 37th Caribbean Institute on Alcoholism and Other Drug Problems on Monday (June 13 2011) that he was sometimes very pleased with the way in which Caribbean people bond together almost automatically to deal with their problems.
He added: “Every time I see Caribbean people getting together to deal with Caribbean people’s problems I feel very heartened. I don’t think anybody is better qualified to treat with Caribbean people’s problems than Caribbean people.”
London who delivered the feature address and officially opened the course said: “I am convinced that in the final analysis true regional integration is going to come from this side and not this side and therefore anything that brings Caribbean people together I am very comfortable.”
However, the THA Chief Secretary said he was not as comfortable with what happened after the two-week session. “You come, you talk, you interact, you quarrel, you cuss, you laugh, you have fun and then when you go back to your space you focus only on what is before you,” he added.
He suggested to the participants if they were able to have serious networking among the 3,000 persons who were involved in CARIAD programmes over the years they would have been very much better in relationship to the course. He added: “I want to therefore suggest to you to find some way of formalising the networking because if you leave it to chance it just not going to work because when you go back and you see your desk and you see your assignments you will just focus on that and forget everything else that has happened. I want to suggest that that networking aspect is particularly important.”
London noted that CARIAD was an institution that has contributed to research, training, preparing, appreciating, and bonding and urged the participants that they make sure that these noble objectives were achieved and to make sure they participated in the process.
He stressed: “If each person does not leave here better prepared then you would have failed because this is not about certification. As far as I am concerned the most important aspect of this programme is not who pass or who fail, it is about who leaves here better prepared to treat with the issues that will confront him or her in his or her own space. Therefore the whole question is about adding value.”
He said regardless of how hard they tried, regardless of how much effort they put in, regardless of how much training they have this problem was going to exist, it was going to be a very daunting challenge and it was going to be here long after all of them were gone.
CARIAD has held two-week summer schools of addiction studies annually since 1975, first at the University of the Virgin Islands for 19 years, then moving to Tobago in 1994. The two-week course is sponsored by the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health – Ontario, the T&T National Council on Alcoholism& Other Addictions, the UK Women’s Club of T&T and the UWI Open Campus and is being held at the Crown Point Beach Hotel, Tobago.