President tells organisations seeking patronage from public offices: Find creative ways to source funding

Monday, January 13, 2020 - 17:45

Pres­i­dent Paula-Mae Weekes, pa­tron of the Pres­i­dent’s Awards of Trinidad and To­ba­go (PATT), is ad­vis­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions seek­ing pa­tron­age from pub­lic of­fices to find cre­ative ways to source fund­ing.


Speak­ing at the PATT’s func­tion at San Fer­nan­do Hill on Sat­ur­day where sil­ver and gold awards were giv­en out to 48 par­tic­i­pants, Weekes al­so ex­tend­ed that ad­vice to the PATT, ex­plain­ing that tax­pay­ers mon­ey has to be spent as there is no “mag­ic pot” to dip in­to.

She said, “My words of en­cour­age­ment are not on­ly for your (awardees) ben­e­fit but al­so the ben­e­fit of your lead­er­ship. In these hard times, or­gan­i­sa­tions have to be­come ever more cre­ative and self-re­liant in or­der to con­tin­ue their good work.

To en­sure that the fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of young peo­ple have the op­por­tu­ni­ty to ben­e­fit from this won­der­ful pro­gramme, Pres­i­dent’s Award must en­deav­our to seek out non-tra­di­tion­al sources of fund­ing and in­vest­ment.”

The Pres­i­dent re­called that when she took of­fice in 2018 she was met by a lengthy list of or­gan­i­sa­tions re­quest­ing pa­tron­age.

“That list had to be ra­tio­nalised and ex­pec­ta­tions ad­just­ed to meet the re­al­is­tic of re­stric­tive bud­getary al­lo­ca­tions to pub­lic of­fices in­clud­ing the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent. There is no mag­ic pot in­to which we dip. Every­thing that comes out of the Pres­i­dent’ss House we spend tax­pay­ers mon­ey.” Weekes, how­ev­er, reaf­firmed her com­mit­ment to as­sistibf PATT in re­al­is­ing its aims and ob­jec­tives.

Re­call­ing that she par­tic­i­pat­ed in the pro­gramme, then known as The Duke of Ed­in­burgh’s Award, as a stu­dent in 1974, she said, the skills, val­ues and prin­ci­ples which she had learnt have played a vi­tal She ad­vised the awardees that “the strong in­ter­nal val­ues nur­tured in this pro­gramme will serve as an­chors for when the go­ing gets rough and it will.” She al­so ex­tend­ed an in­vi­ta­tion to the awardees to vis­it her at the Pres­i­dent’s House when the re­fur­bish­ment works are com­plet­ed. Al­so speak­ing at the func­tion PATT’s chair­man An­tho­ny Franklin said the pro­gramme makes par­tic­i­pants world-ready.

“If we are on­ly able to in­still these prin­ci­ples in the rest of our young na­tion­al so­ci­ety, the nec­es­sary change that is need­ed in our coun­try will com­mence. We will care for our chil­dren, our women our el­ders our vul­ner­a­ble and at-risk youth and our en­vi­ron­ment.”

He, how­ev­er, ex­pressed sad­ness that one of their par­tic­i­pants, Mark Nurse, was mur­dered in To­ba­go last De­cem­ber.

“On a pos­i­tive note, he said, PATT has opened ac­cess to the pro­gramme for at-risk and mar­gin­alised young per­sons of East Port of Spain and one of those youths was among the awardees.

“While I con­grat­u­late you all, I ask you not to sit on your loins, PATT is look­ing to you for fu­ture par­tic­i­pa­tion in lead­er­ship in the pro­gramme and the fu­ture well be­ing of T&T.”

Reporter: Sascha Wilson