Congress WBN President partners in the search for values-based solutions to crime in Trinidad and Tobago

CAPTION: Dr Noel Woodroffe (centre), Senior Elder of Elijah Centre and President of Congress WBN, moderates a panel of business leaders including Richard Young, chairman of the Economic Development Board, Joseph Remy, President of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and Non-Governmental Organisations (FITUN), Ronald Hinds, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce’s e-Business Roundtable, and Gregory Aboud, President of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association at a meeting of Christian leaders which took place at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, Port of Spain from May 27th to 29th. The meeting aimed to find values-based and practical solutions to crime.
Dr Noel Woodroffe (centre), Senior Elder of Elijah Centre and President of Congress WBN, moderates a panel of business leaders including Richard Young, chairman of the Economic Development Board, Joseph Remy, President of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and Non-Governmental Organisations (FITUN), Ronald Hinds, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce’s e-Business Roundtable, and Gregory Aboud, President of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association at a meeting of Christian leaders which took place at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, Port of Spain from May 27th to 29th.

Christian leaders in Trinidad and Tobago have responded to the country’s escalating crime rate by calling for solutions based on internal character development and the propagation of moral values.

A meeting of the country’s Christian leaders aimed to find values-based and practical solutions to the country’s spiralling crime rate, which has led to widespread social fallout and economic impacts.

“The less self-governed we are, the more external policing we will need. It is time for a more mature society,” said Dr Noel Woodroffe, Senior Elder of Elijah Centre and President of Congress WBN, an international non-profit with operations supporting values-based community development and nation building initiatives in more than 90 countries.

Dr Woodroffe was leading a panel discussion on business sector solutions for crime in Trinidad and Tobago. Panellists included Richard Young, chairman of the Economic Development Board, Joseph Remy, President of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and Non-Governmental Organisations (FITUN), Ronald Hinds, Chairman and CEO of Teleios Systems and chairman of the e-Business Roundtable, and Gregory Aboud, President of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA).

In 2013, criminal cost the T&T economy some $1.1 billion, according to estimates quoted by Dr Woodroffe.

“Crime deters business investment and increases business costs,” Young said.

Murder and violent crime are among the most serious issues. In the first five months of 2014, the country registered 183 murders, a 20 per cent increase from the comparative toll in 2013, according to news reports. Police have linked many of the country’s murders to underworld elements controlling various community-based gangs.

“Gang culture is a pointer to the importance of community and a sense of identity in peoples’ lives,” Hinds said.

Reports in The Economist and Vice News have further linked violent and gang-related crime to endemic high-level corruption and the regional traffic in illicit drugs, as part of a global system of international trade.

“We are witnessing in T&T a failure of the society to tell each other what is right and what is wrong,” Aboud said.

“The focus of labour has to be on nation building and safeguarding of the moral fabric of our society,” Remy said.

The panel also aimed to address crimes such as fraud, bribery, tax evasion and underpayment.

“Businesses have to manifest the values they profess,” Young said.

Called Prayers Plus, the three-day meeting was held at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, Port of Spain from May 27th to 29th. It was the brainchild of Cleveland Thomas, a former Trinidad and Tobago public servant, who says that hefelt the need and the call of God to gather the Body of Christ together to pray for our nation concerning the crime situation,” according to the conference website.

Themed ‘Finding Solutions to Crime’, the Prayers Plus meeting aimed to bring together the leaders of the Christian faith in the country to discuss crime challenges in order to find common solutions built on foundational Biblical principles such as justice, integrity, accountability, transparency, community and love.

Apart from the session on the business sector, other conference sessions focused on youth, women, the protective services, the judiciary and the media. On the closing day, Chief Justice Ivor Archie called for a greater partnership between the church and the judiciary in the fight against crime.

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5 thoughts on “Congress WBN President partners in the search for values-based solutions to crime in Trinidad and Tobago”

  1. For what I read leaders are just speaking of destroying the bad fruits and not killing the roots. CHRISTIAN LEADERS HAVE JUST SPENT THREE DAYS SAYING THE SAME THING and repeating the same thing experts have been saying to us as a nation and still our nation have not find and cannot find answers. The problem is that our Christians Leaders are refusing to tell our civil leaders to obey God’s instructions about training the children as God recommends. The children are the ones who eventually become grownups. If these children on becoming adults are undisciplined as God recommends in HIS WORD No amount of changes in our society or programs can reform the mind we are allowing to grow up without training them by making them feel the pain for doing wrong. God says to use the rod Proverb:22:15: Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
    Proverb:23:13: Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
    Proverb:23:14: Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
    Proverb:26:3: A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.
    Proverb:29:15: The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. We refuse to petition the civil leaders to return to training the child as outlined in Proverb in the HOLY BIBLE we all read, The majority of nations with crime problems suffer from disobedience and are leaning on their own understanding and not God’s. YET we expect favourable results for our crime problems in the future, because solution is not an overnight thing. Children must be trained God’s way. Do Christian Leaders we believe God’s Word or NOT? The undisciplined child when he grows up is the root of our problems. A structured form of discipline for our children minds is what Christian Leaders should have spent some time discussing for the future of our nation. Ye are the salt of the earth. Any alternatives that does not support God’s method of disciplining our citizens as outlined in His Word will not work. It is not about getting folks save. The majority will not accept Christ but they can all be disciplined. As Christians, surely we should know that God never lies and so try as we may alternatives will not find solutions outside of God’s Word.

  2. I agree with Leonard and Jacob that our children should raised to embrace God’s righteousness. However, we sit with a bunch of adults and youth who have chosen to follow one of the paths of foolishness called crime. They have either forgotten or perhaps never been taught morals and values, such as respect for themselves and others.
    I’m not from Trinidat nor Tabago but we have the same problem which is, high crime rates. I’m from a town called Atlantis, South Africa.
    I agree wholeheartedly that a child MUST being trained in the fear of God through Jesus the Living Word. That is a possible solution for for the future. The thing is we are NOW sitting with a crime problem mostly lead by foolish adults.
    So, those 3 days of meetings was not in vain but will surely help to find a solution to the CURRENT crime situation. I salute these leaders, Dr Noel Woodroffe, Richard Young, Joseph Remy, Ronald Hinds, and Gregory Aboud, who bought out the time in their busy schedule to assist lowering the crime rate. They deserve a big THANK YOU.

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