The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Port of Spain, in collaboration with the Eternal Light Community, embarked on a construction and refurbishing project to establish a vocational school within the Sea Lots community.
In an effort to empower and uplift its residents, the project aims to provide an essential bridge between the residents of Sea Lots and the rest of the country by offering them a path to gain marketable skills and better their quality of life. Core elements of this project are centred around education, upskilling residents, community development, inclusivity, open and constructive dialogue, and anti-crime initiatives.
The vocational school will offer a range of programmes including mentoring workshops, vocational training, academic studies, and spiritual development. Set on a one-acre property located at 17 Milling Avenue, Sea Lots, Port of Spain, the completed facility will comprise two buildings, and will include both general and special purpose classrooms, workshop and simulation areas for skills training, music class, broadcasting studio, multipurpose auditorium, and administrative offices. The construction also includes the restoration of a former iconic recording studio on the property.
The Archdiocese’s successful production of the Carrera Art Exhibition in July 2023, which saw artworks of 15 inmates from the Carrera Island Prison demonstrated the hope, dignity and rehabilitation that can come from training, artistic expression, and ministerial support.
Now, former inmates Alladin Mohammed and Nigel Mark, have committed to working alongside the Archdiocese to promote the vocational school by sharing their testimonies throughout churches leading up to the Christ the King weekend.
The aim is to gain support from the Catholic community and communicate the assistance needed for continuity on this essential vocational school project.
“A place where people struggle to earn honest living because the people are not skilled in vocational areas, can’t read or write properly and employers just don’t want to give these people a chance because they live in Sea Lots,” added Mark. “Mentoring workshops, vocational training, academic studies, and spirituality are some of the methods that these organisations are willing to bring for this holistic change.”
Training courses to be offered at the vocational school will include woodwork, carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, information technology, art, tailoring, geriatric nursing, culinary arts, agriculture, beauty culture, music, and sports training to name a few.
Evening programmes for adults will also provide life-skills training, Adult Literacy Tutors Association (ALTA) classes, and other subjects including CXC Mathematics and English tutoring.
These programmes are designed with the long-term goal of equipping residents with basic entry level technical competencies and life skills they can leverage to support employability, future growth, and development.
“The ethos of civilisation is developed through a variety of art forms which contribute to a sense of idealism and well-being,” said Mohammed, Principal Tutor of Art at the Carrera Art Studio.
The project expects to achieve a series of positive outcomes, including increased enrolment in secondary education among Sea Lots residents aged 11-18, elevated skill levels, enhanced participation of community members in the workforce at higher skill levels, and increased participation in the tertiary education system by Sea Lots residents aged 18-35.
Archdiocese of Port of Spain Mission
We are the People of God in Trinidad and Tobago, building a civilisation of love – reconciling with God, neighbour, creation, and self through:
About Eternal Light Community
The Eternal Light Community came into being in 1972 when hundreds of persons met for prayer. This group meets each Monday at 7 p.m. at the St Charles RC Church, Tunapuna.
As years passed, Deborah De Rosia, Wendy Ann Jones, and Jude Marie Aird joined hearts and hands together with Menita Neverson and other brothers and sisters to form our household community in 1983.
Members of the prayer group and others committed themselves in covenant community to pray with and for each other and to be open to the works of God.
As members of this body we commit ourselves: