Blocks should become NGOs
May 21, 2004
Blocks should become NGOs

Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves has proposed that “blocks” be formalised and recognised as legitimate non-governmental organisations.
The Prime Minister, who is known for using unconventional methods of running his administration, made the novel proposal Monday night while addressing persons at a town hall meeting staged at the Stubbs Government School as part of his month-long Prime Ministerial Tour.{{more}}
Dr. Gonsalves said this new plan was proposed to him by the people during his present tour of rural areas. He said it is part of the drive that will bring about a political transformation in this country.
To loud applause from the gathering, the Prime Minister said he had discussed the plan with Ministers Mike Browne, Clayton Burgin, Julian Francis and Sir Vincent Beache, and was planning to take it to Cabinet soon to be formalised.
“The brothers and sisters who sit on the wall at Sion Hill, they are a block. They will be recognised as a non governmental organization. The brothers and sisters who sit on the block out there by the Stubbs bridge will be so recognised,” said the Prime Minister, adding that it will so throughout the country.
He explained that resources would be provided, under state direction, “to assist the brothers and sisters on the block.
“On the block, some are employed, some of them are not employed. They play cricket, but even if they play cricket they play for a team, not a club. They do not participate in the club. They believe in God, they go to church but they’re not part of the church.
They are, in a sociological and an anthropological sense, an institution, because there are consistent recurring patterns of behaviour which create a particular trend and tendency, to be acknowledged and recognised as an institution. And therefore they must be provided form and structure,” said Prime Minister Gonsalves, explaining his decision to recognise blocks as a non-governmental organisation.
He added that workers from the Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES) would be identified to work with the blocks to organise them in a structured manner.