In 2013 WAND completed a drug rehab centre for women in Palo Seco, and decided that we fully supported the initiative of the Police Youth Clubs as a tool for improve the social well-being of our communities.
We engaged the Community Policing Secretariat who recommended a number of worthy Clubs and we quickly decided on the Patna-River Estate police Youth Club, there was never any doubt that help was needed.
The facility was empty apart from Constable O’Connor’s desk, two benches and a few cardboard boxes.
In the last year we have helped by furnishing the kitchen, supplying chairs, creating a library area and stocking with books, donated largely by the Blue Range Community, some office furniture, some musical instruments (recorders) and a computer room with several computers.
As most charities we depended on the good will of others to allow us to offer support and we sincerely thank the following groups and individuals for responding to our call, Columbus Communications-Flow, for providing free internet access; Roger Xavier of Rapier Services for importing our computers and setting up the computer room; B.I.I. Trinidad Ltd. and Boss Ltd. for the office furniture; Mohammeds Bookstores Ltd. for the musical instruments/Recorders and Mr. Voss who supplied the materials and built the library shelves.
In 2014 the youth of the Patna/River Estate Police Youth Club celebrated their 2nd Anniversary and Ribbon Cutting of the WAND Computer Room on Saturday July 26, 2014 with family, friends and well-wishers.
Duane O’Connor the Club’s Leader presided over the event and invited Greetings from Ms Masimba (President, TUCO), Inspector Saunders (West End Police), Mrs Wendy Voss (Director, Women in Action for the Needy and Destitute) and Acting Commissioner of Police Joseph.
Wendy Voss shared WAND’s experience working with the Police Youth Club and WAND’s commitment to the Club’s success.
She emphasized the critical importance of having volunteers and more community involvement, as the only real means of ensuring the children have a place to express themselves, learn and interact, thereby helping the community to grow closer.
The young people are the most precious resource, and while improving the physical environment was needed the help of volunteers to support the programmes in literacy, mentoring, sports, music and agriculture/a kitchen garden are very pressing, including the productive use of the computers.
Guests were treated to performances of the Patna youth; steelpan pieces, drumming, singing and dance.
The last official act of the Celebration was the Ribbon Cutting of the WAND Computer Room by Mrs Voss, who thanked the many businesses for their generous service and support.
WAND on a weekly basis conducts literacy sessions with the Patna youth at the Club but much is still needed to improve the facilities as well as volunteers for a more extensive and structured programme.
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