When most people think of Trinidad and Tobago, they think of white sand beaches, steel drums, and easy living. This is far from the truth for much of the nation, as the reality is that life is harder than it may seem to an outsider. The country suffers from widespread gang violence, and has the largest number of people (per capita) that have traveled to Syria to fight for ISIS. Limited employment opportunities, a high school dropout rate, and great economic disparity contribute greatly to these issues.
In an effort to reduce dropout rates, deployed US troops are currently working with the local government to support a school for at-risk youth. The Military-Led Academic Training (MiLAT) school was founded to provide the opportunity for those students to escape malign influences of their neighborhoods and to focus on finishing school and building a future. Ultimately, successful students will be given internships and job opportunities with the government, allowing them to pursue a successful career instead of falling into extremist organizations or gangs. This is a rare opportunity for the students, but it is also a rigorous and demanding program. Approximately 40% of enrollees do not finish due to the stress and the call of their old habits, as well as the dearth of recreational outlets on campus.
With your support, Spirit of America will help rectify this alarming trend through the donation of construction materials to help the US team and their partners build a sports field for the MiLAT School. This creates a much-needed source of recreation for the students, while, at the same time, building a stronger 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.