Rebublic Bank Invests $22 Million in NGO And CBO Causes

Port of Spain, Trinidad, Port-of-Spain, November 26, 2012: Republic Bank launched the final year of the second phase of its Power to make a Difference programme on November 22 at the Bank's Head Office, in Trinidad, Port-of-Spain, announcing a TT$22 Million investment in 2013. Over 40 Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Community-based Organisations, gathered to receive their customary heart-shaped cheques representing the Bank's commitment to their causes.

In the 2012-2013 year, as with the past four, a greater emphasis will be placed on the differently abled citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. Poverty alleviation, the plight of the elderly and the development of young people through work with the NGO and CBO sector, will continue to be part of the Bank's thrust going forward.

Speaking on the theme, "In a World of Hope," the Bank's Managing Director, David Dulal-Whiteway, said "Every life has value and every person should be afforded the chance to express their thoughts, and realise their true potential. Over the past four years, Republic Bank has focused on generating greater awareness of the needs of differently abled persons; sharing the challenges they face in living in a world that does not quite understand them and in providing opportunities for these special people to demonstrate their value and worth."

"While we know that there will never be full understanding, we are confident that a more informed population would be a more empathetic population, so we continue to plod away with our NGO partners in bringing about the positive change that is needed." he added.

Some of the new projects added to the Bank's social investment programme include, Arts Insight, Special Needs Workshop, Vision on Mission, Eternal Light & Word of Life Communities, Olive's House and Angels On Earth Foundation. The Bank also renewed its

commitment to The Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago, The Dyslexia Association, Persons Associated with Visual Impairment, Love Movement Youth Outreach Programme and the National Carnival Bands Association, along with 14 others.

In her opening remarks, Republic Bank's General Manager, Group Marketing & Communications, Anna-Maria Garcia-Brooks, shared a view on national pride, urging the audience to take a closer look at their lives, achievements and failings. "Fifty years ago, we drafted our constitution, composed our national anthem, designed our national flag and inscribed our watch words of Discipline, Tolerance and Production; yet so many of us remain shackled by our blatant disregard of the laws of the land, with little or no apparent consequence. Our social fabric has become increasingly threadbare and torn in many places. Could it be that too much focus is placed on the crimes themselves and insufficient attention to addressing the root causes, such as illiteracy, drug use and addiction, poor parenting, absentee fathers and parents, insufficient male role models, greed and corruption, indiscipline from top to bottom, intolerance, acceptance of mediocrity, an unrealistic and damaging sense of entitlement and disrespect?" she asked.

She went on to say, "National pride has more to do with treating each other considerately on the roads which we all share and following the regulations, than simply flying the national flag on our cars. National pride my friends, has more to do with truly caring for the most vulnerable among us - the elderly, the at risk youths, the young children in abusive homes and helping them to elevate themselves from their current circumstances, than it has to do about distributing hampers and food cards and creating greater dependency on the State. National pride has more to do with giving of myself through volunteering in my community, church or social group than by assuming that it's not our responsibility and that others would do what is required."

Also speaking at the event was United Nations Deputy Resident Representative, Trinidad, Mr. Henri-Francois Morand.
The Bank welcomed the new organizations and pledged its commitment to the existing ones, toward improving the lives of the most vulnerable among us.

December 5, 2012
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