EQUAL PLACE

Donor funded by The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints

Equal Place (EP) was the first non-formal education programme Living Water Community (LWC) offered to migrant and refugee children with support from UNHCR and other donors. The LWC, UNHCR and UNICEF joined forces to continue to provide education to children on the move through Equal Place.  This initiative was conceived as a temporary intervention to support asylum-seekers, refugees and other eligible children in need to access blended education.  The temporal nature of the initiative was linked to the advocacy efforts, and the request made to the Denominational Boards to attend to the schooling of migrant and refugee children for families with children that had been part of the registration exercise conducted by  the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.  This process should have led to the issuance of educational permits that would have enabled children to be enrolled in school but unfortunately has not yet been made possible by  the Immigration Division..

The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints assisted the children of Equal Place with stationery and manipulatives for their education. One of the highlights from this donor was the two (2) fun and family day events the children were exposed to. They engaged in friendly fun activities as well as enjoyed face painting, balloon making and all food and snacks were free for parents and children.

The church also sponsored the birth registration of migrant mothers who gave birth to their children while in the country. ESL classes was another aspect that these generous donors were able to provide to the migrant communities. Another group that benefited were the teens between the ages of 14 to 17 that participated in a youth journalism workshop, whereby those who were interested in this employment pathway gained knowledge from the experts within the industry.

Finally, the LDS was able to assist the students at the various spaces with activities that allowed them to visit natural and historic sites within Trinidad. They visited the Temple in the Sea, the National Zoo, the Botanical gardens, as well as the US Burlington that was docked at the port in Trinidad.

EQUAL PLACE

Equal Place is an educational initiative to address the continued education of migrant and refugee children between the ages of 5 – 17 due to their non admittance into the public school system. Education is a fundamental right of all children according to Article 28 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); the International Covenant on Economic, Universal Declaration on Human Rights; Social and Cultural Rights; and the Convention against Discrimination in Education.  Nevertheless, children and adolescents all around the world are unable to access education. In T&T, children from the migrant, refugee and asylum-seekers community are not allowed access to the national school system. 

Equal Place (EP) is an education strategy and programme being offered by Living Water Community with financial support from UNICEF and UNHCR. EP is a blended learning programme which is delivered primarily through e-Learning platforms such as Dawere Global, with opportunities for in-person support to clarify and reinforce knowledge, thus enhancing the learning process. 

With the full implementation of the strategy, out-of-school children and adolescents are afforded access to education services and content, adapted to individual educational needs, with an aim toward accredited certification.  The strategy utilizes estimates based on UNHCR’s published information on the number of asylum seekers who are  children on the move in T&T.

EP operates in physical locations:

  • CREDO, Port of Spain
  • St. Theresa’s Church Hall, Barataria
  • Naparima College, San Fernando
  • La Romain RC Primary
  • St, Martin de Porres R.C Church Hall, Fyzabad
  • Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Roman Catholic Church (Icacos)

At Equal Place, each learning space (virtual and physical) will provide the following services:

  • Psychosocial Support
  • Child Protection including early identification of special needs and referrals
  • Education Support
  • Communication and life-saving messages, including information on child protection, weather bulletins, health advisories, and safety tips.

When the programme was launched, the registration process was designed to protect the data of children and adolescents from the PwS population through the implementation of three (3) steps:  

  1. Online registration
  2. Enrolment 
  3. Placement

Online Registration

The online registration is made available at Información de Registro (google.com) in both Spanish and English for families to express their willingness to participate in the programme.

Registrants can also first Whatsapp the Education Administrative Assistant at +1 886 433 1601 and they receive an automated response with the registration form link and message in both Spanish and English.