Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (Sept 24, 2014) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago are jointly launching a multi-year initiative that seeks to enhance anti-violence and crime prevention efforts in Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean at large.
The Resistance and Prevention Program (RAPP), which is funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, will work with police, government ministries and civil society organizations on social crime prevention for at-risk youth.
“The United States and Trinidad and Tobago are working closely together to address the crime and insecurity that affects so many communities here, and across the region with the goal of providing young people with better opportunities to grow and thrive in a safe environment,” said Margaret B. Diop, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., U.S. Embassy Port of Spain.
A major component of the program will be to develop community-driven strategies for addressing crime, while working regionally to apply lessons learned and ensure sustainability. In addition, the program seeks to identify lasting solutions to citizen security through preventive measures that avoid problems before they happen. It is focused on:
- Enhancing the capacity of young people, police and justice sector officials to work together on crime prevention.
- Building mutual trust between these groups to identify and anticipate the common causes of crime before it happens.
To this end, PADF will host a RAPP Program Facilitator Accreditation workshop on September 22 - 25, 2014 at the Police Training Academy in conjunction with theMinistry of National Security and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS). The course seeks to enhance participants’ skills, knowledge and abilities to collaborate with and instill confidence among youth who are at risk for aggressive and/or criminal behavior.
This 40-hour accreditation workshop is intended to prepare leaders to mentor, educate and encourage others working with young people to take concrete actions that improve the future of the next generation. The workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to exchange experiences and discuss theoretical framework on social crime prevention, root causes of youth crime and violence, gangs, organized crime, domestic violence, communication and action plans to address these issues. Ultimately, it will prepare participants to: lead up to five-day long courses in crime prevention on a variety of topics covered in the instructor’s manual and participant handbook; and serve as agents of change in the promotion of concrete crime prevention techniques through use of action plans in targeted “hot spots” where crime is more prevalent.
Throughout the week, the workshop will engage participants in hands-on active learning, where they will have opportunities to practice what they study through group work, presentations, role play and even a mock teaching session.
“The RAPP approach is a powerful tool for preventing crime before it happens, using proactive interagency collaboration, which seeks to prevent and reduce levels of youth violence and crime throughout Trinidad and Tobago by empowering police and communities to address the root causes of crime,” said Ms. Shanna Tova O’Reilly, PADF Program Director.
In addition, program participants will develop concerted action plans to be implemented within major areas facing crime challenges across the two islands of Trinidad and Tobago.
“The success of RAPP is built around the community action plans that allow citizens and government agencies an opportunity to serve as key stakeholders in the development of solutions to ongoing crime problems.” added O’Reilly.
PADF is the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American States, established in 1962 to implement integral socio-economic development programs for disadvantaged people, to strengthen civil society and community groups in support of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and to aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In 2013, it helped more than 10 million people in 22 countries. Headquartered in Washington DC, PADF has field offices in Haiti, Colombia, Suriname and Honduras, and projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.www.padf.org
For more information, please contact:
Programs Director, Caribbean
Hearly G. Mayr
Director of Communications and Public Affairs