News Releases

Launch of Social Intervention Project for Farm Road, St. Joseph Community

For Release Upon Receipt - May 9, 2018

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine Campus launched an integrated community project for the Farm Road, St. Joseph community on May 7 which which aims to collaborate with the community in order to improve the education, health and social well-being of residents.

The UWI-Farm Road Collaborative Project comes out of the Office of the Deputy Principal through the Careers, Co-curricular and Community Engagement department of the Division of Student Services and Development (DSSD), in collaboration with the UWI’s Social Work Unit, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences.   The project provides an innovative model for community engagement, in-service learning and cross collaboration, already partnering with the School of Education in many of its activities.   The project creates a space for partnership and involvement of all members of the University community as well as stakeholders in the public and private sectors.

A major outcome of this five-year project will be a designed and tested intervention model for university, community and civil society partnership which can be replicated in communities with similar needs across Trinidad and Tobago. The project, aimed at encouraging positive change, hopes to develop a strong partnership between the University and communities.

Deputy Principal Professor Indar Ramnarine spoke on the project, stating “Within the higher education sector, community engagement and service learning programmes are increasingly being valued as a means for transforming students into more civic-minded, engaged citizens with a keen sense of social responsibility. This project has many wins. In-house, we are pleased to facilitate cross-faculty collaborations that have direct positive impacts on the community. On the research front, the project will also give us insight into the best ways to equip communities to drive their own development and also allow our social workers to develop and test strategies for interventions in low-income, often under-represented communities. This is us living our mission of transforming the region through innovative thinking.”

The project has been in progress since last year under the guidance and vision of former Deputy Principal, Professor Rhoda Reddock. Some of the initiatives already rolled out (with the support of Social Work and School of Education students) include:

  • Drapery and Home Linens skills training course
  • ‘The White Tent’ project which provides a weekly homework and life-skills training centre in the community
  • Movie night
  • Vacation Camp
  • Conflict resolution training sessions

This year The University of the West Indies (UWI) celebrates its 70th Anniversary under the theme 70 Years of Service, 70 Years of Leadership. Across the institution special campus events and projects such as the UWI-Farm Road Collaborative Project will mark the milestone.