President Kangaloo's Visit to St. Jude's School for Girls for the UNDP’s "Choose Peace" Programme
On Tuesday 23rd January 2024, The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Trinidad and Tobago along with the staff and residents of the St. Jude's School for Girls were delighted to receive a distinguished visit from Her Excellency Christine Kangaloo, ORTT, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Honourable Ayanna Webster-Roy, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister. Accompanied by Ms. Joanna Kazana, UN Resident Coordinator, and members of the School’s board, the delegation took part in the "Choose Peace" programme. The visit served to mark a significant collaboration between the United Nations, UNDP and St. Jude's in fostering peace, creativity, and inclusivity.
President Kangaloo's presence at St. Jude's served to recognize the work and commitment of this pioneering project facilitated by UNDP that is dedicated to addressing youth mental health and building stronger, more peaceful communities.
In his statement, Mr. Ugo Blanco, the UNDP Resident Representative expressed deep gratitude, saying, "The UNDP team is delighted to be part of this journey. Our organization has a long history of supporting initiatives that promote education, gender equality, and sustainable development. St. Jude's aligns perfectly with these goals, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to create a brighter and more equitable future for all. St. Jude's School serves as a beacon of light, illuminating the path for these girls to reach their full potential."
During the visit, President Kangaloo and Ministry Webster-Roy engaged in a painting activity, a regular part of the "Choose Peace" programme, which symbolizes the importance of creativity and expression in promoting peace and harmony. Some of the residents shared their enthusiasm about the project which has allowed them to “feel free and express themselves” as well as learn new skills in sports and art.
UNDP aims to continue to explore avenues for sustainable business models for St. Jude's School for Girls. Given the excellent quality and creativity of the products and services coming out of the project, such as clothing, furniture, decoration or catering, certified students should be equipped to find safe and mentored job opportunities in the national labour market. UNDP is honoured to be a continued ally in that endeavour, and looks forward to further collaboration with St. Jude's School for Girls to create a positive impact.
Psychosocial, Art and Sports Model for Peace-building (PASMP)