Saddened by the enslavement of Venezuelan migrants who are only seeking to fill empty stomachs in T&T, recently-installed moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Rev Joy Abdul-Mohan, says her flock will use their resources to alleviate the migrants’ hunger.
She said it was worrisome to think that police officers were involved in human trafficking of refugees to have them practice modern day slavery.
“Refugees and migrants are human beings created in the image and likeness of God like all of us. They are families with hopes and dreams for their children. The church must make a difference in the lives of those who are marginalised, alienated, oppressed and exploited,” Abdul-Mohan said.
“The question must be asked: If we see refugees as families seeking a better life as many ‘Trinbagonian’ families who migrated to North America and Europe, how might that change the ways we receive them in our country? Notwithstanding the criminal elements and the need to put proper structures in place to deal with the issue at hand.”
Abdul-Mohan made the comment as she was being recognised by the Rapid-fire Kidz Foundation for being elevated to her new position at Canton Palace, San Fernando, on Saturday.
She said through the church’s Board of Social Responsibility, interested persons and stakeholders, they are willing to not only feed the migrants but to learn their language. She said the church will also partner with other local churches, organisations like the Rapid-fire Kidz Foundation, international bodies with structured refugee-sponsored programmes—like Presbyterian churches in Canada and the USA, citizens and relevant authorities to help stamp out human trafficking.
Foundation president Kevin Ratiram complimented the church for electing Abdul-Mohan as its leader. He said T&T needs leaders at every level if it is to prevail over the evil that stalks the land.
“The talk in our country today is the ‘zessers’–the gold chains, flashy cars, guns, drugs and Spanish women. Some think that fighting the ‘zessers’ is only for the Government, only for Parliament or only for Gary (Griffith),” Ratiram said.
“We can only defeat the ‘zesser’ culture if we battle it at every level in our society. It’s not just for the political leaders, it’s for the leaders in our cities, towns and villages, in every street, road and trace. It’s for the leaders in the churches, schools and communities.”
Ratiram said leadership is most needed in homes from the parents of the ‘zessers’ and the potential ‘zessers’. He stressed that fathers must also lead by being physically present in the home.
“How many of our young men in this country grow up in fatherless homes, sometimes not even knowing their fathers? No one to look up to, to call ‘dad’. Most importantly, no one to guide or discipline them.”
He said fathers must be leaders in the home. He said there was nothing wrong with mixing concrete, cutting grass or driving trucks for a living, once it is done honestly.
- by Kevon Felmine. Photo by Rishi Ragoonath.