Human Services Minister leads outreach to Cummings Lodge
– informs residents of social and support services
– elderly, vulnerable persons benefit from hampers
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud and a team, this afternoon, met Cummings Lodge residents as part of an ongoing effort to reach out to vulnerable persons countrywide. The team also visited homes and distributed food hampers to the elderly, vulnerable persons and migrants in the area.
The Ministry has already held outreaches in several communities to ensure that persons are accessing available social services such as pension and public assistance.
“I’ve always believed that if we know what the needs are of people, then we will be better able to tailor our programmes and look at our policies as it relates to them,” Minister Persaud said.
The team also reached out migrants.
“We met a number of persons who are from other places, who are migrants, and we also understood from them that not all of them had jobs; they had a lot of children. We were able to help those too, differently-abled, the elderly, families, underprivileged families,” she explained.
Several residents expressed appreciation for the visit, including senior citizen, Ms. Zaleena (only name given) who is benefiting from the Ministry’s initiative to deliver pension benefits directly to ‘shut-ins.’
Ms. Vena Dhanraj was also eager to meet the team.
“I feel very good, very excited. I’m so happy to be here. It’s absolutely amazing and I thank you guys so much for giving me this hamper it will do me good for the holiday,” she said.
Following the home visits, the Minister met some residents at the Cummings Lodge Secondary School where she informed them of the legislation in place to protect women and girls from gender-based violence and the available support services.
The Ministry held similar engagements in Mocha, Region Four; Bath Settlement, Lovely Lass, Region Five and Parfaite Harmonie in Region Three.
Dr. Persaud said her Ministry is utilising a hands-on approach by travelling to communities and interacting with residents, and officers, to identify needs and craft solutions.
“I think it’s also encouragement for the officers who work all year round, to see how we are actually seeing how their situations are at the workplace. Are they okay? Do they have what they need to effectively deliver the services that we want to deliver?”
Dr. Persaud believes that this proactive approach will lead to more robust management systems and services at the Ministry to serve the people better.
“I think if we continue to do that we can return to the Ministry and strengthen every system. It is not a quick fix, but it is the movement towards the fix,” she said. This activity will continue in the new year when the Ministry reaches out to hinterland communities.