Demming Chronicles features Suzette Cadiz (Let’s Read) & Quilin Achat (Cannabis Advocate)

A library in every school
The conversation kicks off with Suzette Cadiz of the NGO “Let’s Read”. Their goal is to unlock the passion for reading in each child. Recognizing that several Primary Schools no longer had libraries, they set about in 2010 to re-create reading spaces and to date have reestablished libraries in 31 schools throughout the country. In addition to school libraries, Let’s Read has two other initiatives “Book a Baby” where new books are given to pediatricians to be given to new mothers; and the “Little Free Library” where box boxes are placed in remote areas and target children aged 0-14.

Developing a passion for reading
The idea behind Let’s Read is to move away from reading to pass a test to reading for understanding and enjoyment. This can be easily achieved by an early introduction to reading. Parents can play a role by reading to their children and teaching them to use their imagination to understand the world. One can experience unimaginable joy in seeing children become excited about reading.

Gently used books
Let’s Read relies on corporate support and individual funding to do their work. They reach out to families and individuals to provide “gently used” books to stock the libraries. Their initiative is a long-term programme to transform children into becoming deep readers. The more passionate the reader the likely are we to expand our discovery of creatives and inventors. Suzette also commented that Let’s Read allows each child to receive a gift of literacy which can have a long-term positive impact on their quality of life.

At 13:35, Quinlan Achat talks about the movement she founded called “Stay Calm, It’s a Plant” and about her advocacy for the Cannabis movement in Trinidad and Tobago. The movement began in 2010/2011 and as a Rastafarian Woman, Quinlan has accepted responsibility for protecting the safety of the sacred plant of Cannabis.

Negative Imagery of Cannabis
In December 2019 Cannabis was decriminalized and the movement is looking forward to the passage of “The Cannabis Control Bill, 2020”. According to the Parliamentary Website This “Act will provide for the regulatory control of the handling of cannabis for certain purposes, the establishment of the Trinidad and Tobago Cannabis Licensing Authority and connected matters.”

Cannapreneurship and the future
Since the decriminalization of Cannabis, there has been a huge growth in the market for the supply of different kinds of edibles but the industry is uncontrolled. Quinlin is confident that once the operating framework is established and organized, Cannabis can become a strong sector of our economy.

In taking a future view, she sees a multi-level industry that will produce a new kind of business owner who is committed to environmental sustainability and the empowerment of young people to create new and different businesses.

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