The Hardworking CORE Team, together with bmobile representatives (far left) Siobhan Thompson and Darryl Duke, and Adrian Leonce MP, Parliamentary representative for Laventille East/Morvant (centre top), at the CORE Foundation's launch of the hydroponics agriculture initiative in Second Caledonia, Morvant. (Image courtesy bmobile)

Several young people in the Second Caledonia community in Morvant will now have new avenues for employment and even self-employment, with their participation in a special hydroponics agriculture programme conducted by Core Foundation, which is supported by bmobile and the bmobile Foundation.

Core Foundation recently partnered with bmobile Business, to launch an agricultural venture in hydroponics with the Second Caledonia community members in Morvant. The goal is to get young men and women involved in agriculture through the hydroponics system, contributing to their self-reliance and invoking their entrepreneurial spirit.

The initiative is timely given that employment opportunities have been significantly reduced in many communities in the past few years, and further compounded recently by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An early start to his education – A student shares a tender moment with his son during the CORE Foundation’s launch of the hydroponics agriculture initiative in Second Caledonia, Morvant. (Image courtesy bmobile)

During the recent official launch of the hydroponics agriculture programme at Second Caledonia, TSTT’s General Manager Enterprise Services (Ag.), Darryl Duke, shared some of his own experiences with students and participants.

“When I was in school and your age, we were taught in school to get cheques but not write cheques,” Duke said.

“There is no better time to be an entrepreneur and to learn about business through this opportunity. Learn to be the one who is making the money and writing the cheques. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime and I want each of you to leverage technology to make you and this business more efficient and that is what we are here to support today and for the time to come,” he added.

“There is no TSTT without T&T in it. And you are T&T. So, we are here, pledging our support to see this project thrive and grow,” the TSTT senior executive said, as he confirmed the company’s support of the CORE Foundation and their community development initiatives.

L to R – WASA’s Manager for Inventory, Control and Warehousing, Sheldon Noel; MP for Laventille East/Morvant, Adrian Leonce MP; CORE Foundation Chairman, Angelo Scope; and TSTT’s General Manager Enterprise Services (Ag.), Darryl Duke, at the CORE Foundation’s launch of the hydroponics agriculture initiative in Second Caledonia, Morvant. (Image courtesy bmobile)

bmobile also has stepped in to contribute internet access to the Foundation’s Homework Centre, thereby equipping it with much needed connectivity that would ensure the completion of assignments while many students continue remote schooling.

Chairman and co-founder of Core Foundation, Angelo Scope, reiterated why the hydroponics agriculture programme is so important.

“This particular project sprung up because of a need that came from a conversation with Raphne St Rose, a gentleman who worked with me and was a prominent representative for projects in the community. He’s from the area and wanted to find a means to help young men up here. These young men are yearning to do something different that can create sustainable financial freedom for themselves and their families,” he highlighted.

Siobhan Thompson, TSTT’s Manager Enterprise Marketing and Darryl Duke, TSTT’s General Manager Enterprise Services (Ag.), are given a tour by proud students during the CORE Foundation’s launch of the hydroponics agriculture initiative in Second Caledonia, Morvant. (Image courtesy bmobile)

Scope has worked to transition the organisation he helped create, from one focused on charitable events and fundraising, to more sustainable programmes.

“My commitment to help has been unwavering for the past few years and when Mr St Rose brought this idea to me and I could see that it was a viable avenue for youth in the area, I knew we had to do it,” he noted.

Supplies and resources for the Core Foods Hydroponics initiative were provided by bmobile; WASA; Member of Parliament for Laventille East/Morvant, Adrian Leonce MP; among other contributors.

Participants also benefited from the expertise of an engineer who taught them the creation and maintenance of hydroponics systems. The intention is to showcase how crops grown hydroponically have better outcomes and improved turnaround times, which would interest persons who wish to learn to do the same in their homes.

MP for Laventille East/Morvant, Adrian Leonce MP, chats with CORE Foundation students during the launch of the hydroponics agriculture initiative in Second Caledonia, Morvant. (Image courtesy bmobile)

Member of Parliament for the area, Adrian Leonce MP, encouraged students and participants by highlighting the spiritual and physical benefits of planting seeds, and benefiting from reaping the fruits of hard work.

“It’s up to you now, the members of the community, to plant the seeds not just physically, but in the minds of your neighbours and family about what is possible particularly in agriculture,” he said.

“Food is the only thing that was sustainable during the pandemic’s closures. So, this is a transformational business opportunity to shine a beacon in our community. We desperately need beacons, like this, in our communities,” he added.

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The Core Foundation has been engaged in work to enhance the lives of many underserved communities across the country. Established in 2015, its primary mission is to improve, inspire, and empower people to live a better quality of life by creating workable solutions to eradicate poverty and social issues.  It continues to develop mentorship programs, educational and professional programs, seminars, workshops, meetings, conferences, exhibitions and research activities, all related to the social sector.

The bmobile Foundation focuses on national development with a particular focus on youth and education.