I’ve recently returned from Trinidad and Tobago, a beautiful but deceptively violent dual-island nation in the Caribbean. Despite its appearance as a relaxed seaside paradise, T&T contains widespread gang violence and an alarmingly high rate of ISIS recruitment.
Meeting with our troops, we discussed how the driving factor for ISIS recruitment is not religion, but rather a lack of economic and employment opportunity, with many seeing the terrorist group as their only means for survival. Over 100 Trinidadians’s have left the islands to join ISIS in the Middle East so far, with the issue only getting worse as inequality continues to grow.
With your help, however, we can change this.
To reduce school drop out rates and deter ISIS and gang recruitment, US troops are working with the local government to support a school for at-risk youth. Students who successfully complete the program will be given internships and job opportunities, a rare opportunity to create a better future for themselves.
However, the program is rigorous and demanding, with approximately 40% of enrollees not finishing, often because of the lack of recreational outlets on campus.
To create a desperately needed source of recreation for the students, Spirit of America is helping our soldiers and their partners build a sports field for the school. At the same time, this project strengthens the relationship between US troops and their Trinidadian partners as they work together to fight terrorism, transnational crime, and support Trinidad as it moves towards a more secure future.
Click here to see how you can help complete this field and put an end to ISIS recruitment in Trinidad. No donation is too small.
As always, thank you for your support.
Until next time,
Project Manager – Latin America