Stronger Families, Stronger Communities

Focusing on community will enhance social and economic growth in Tobago.

That’s the view of Secretary of Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour Marslyn Melville-Jack, who led a motion during Thursday’s (May 25, 2017) plenary session at the Assembly Legislature to support community-based programmes as a strategy to develop the island.

The motion, she said, will improve collaboration among the THA, the private sector and community groups.

“The people of Tobago are looking for solutions to the social and economic challenges that we face,” the Secretary said. “Strong families, self-sustaining communities, a healthy, productive workforce, are inextricable linked to the development of Tobago.”

According to Melville-Jack, deficiencies in community life usually impact family life as well.

“We have realised over the years that the family structure has been disintegrating all over the world,” she said, “and here in Tobago a multiplicity of social ills have given rise to increased delinquency, especially among our boys.”

She believes accelerating community development will “assist the House of Assembly in the formulation of guidelines”, which should also increase productivity.

“There’s a need to enhance our values and work ethics,” she added, stating that it stems from the family home.

“For any civilisation to succeed, it is important that the family succeeds,” Melville-Jack said, adding that “right now many families are not succeeding.”

The Secretary said the promotion of strong families is important to Tobago because “the families around us, whatever effects them will eventually affect us directly or indirectly.”

She believes the family should be seen as the cornerstone of society.

“If we employ mechanisms to develop stronger families, we will have stronger schools, churches and communities, with less poverty and less crime.”

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