Presbyterian Church to feed Venezeulans

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.

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