U.S Embassy sponsors ‘Christmas on the Hill’ with TTPS

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U.S Embassy sponsors ‘Christmas on the Hill’ with TTPS

The United States Embassy Port of Spain sponsored the “Christmas on the Hill” community engagement event for 1,000 children of Laventille and surrounding areas on December 23rd, including gifts for all of the children, music, food, face painting, horseback rides, and entertainment.

The U.S. Embassy partnered with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s (TTPS) Interagency Task Force’s (IATF) “Hearts and Minds” unit to mount the event.

The U.S. Embassy supported the relaunch event, which had run for seven years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Embassy-funded Gang Reduction and Community Empowerment project (GRACE) supported the program by providing gifts, while U.S. Embassy partner American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago donated over 25,000 vegetable seedlings to the IATF to support community programs in the area.

Project GRACE provides US$1.5 million in technical assistance to improve community policing and intelligence-led policing to help the TTPS address gang-related security challenges.

The U.S. Embassy supports “Christmas on the Hill” and other community policing events like it, in support of vulnerable populations in Trinidad and Tobago. Through its initiatives in support of bolstering citizen security in Trinidad and Tobago, the United States of America is helping to build linkages between the police and the communities they serve.

U.S. Ambassador Candace Bond welcomed the children, all members of TTPS youth clubs in Laventille and surrounding areas. She said she was thrilled to be part of an event that is all about the spirit of sharing, and noted the strong ties that the United States of America has with communities across Trinidad and Tobago, and the Laventille community in particular.

She said, “One of my honorable predecessors, U.S. Ambassador John Estrada, who served as President Obama’s Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, was born right here in these hills.” She also noted the cultural contributions of Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, and soca artiste Destra Garcia, also natives of Laventille.

Ambassador Bond said that the gifts for all of the children, along with the event itself, came from the generosity of the people of the USA. “That’s what Americans are all about: generosity, taking care of our neighbors, and spreading the blessings that we have. The United States of America is Trinidad and Tobago’s closest and indispensable partner.”

Mrs. Sharon Rowley, wife of Dr. the Honorable Keith Christopher Rowley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; and Minster of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds were also on hand at the event to celebrate the holidays with the youngsters.