Digital media campaign launched highlighting the voices of children and youth to end violence and abuse.

Tuesday 13th September, 2022: The Heroes Foundation and the Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago in support of the Spotlight Initiative have launched a digital media campaign that highlights the voices, views, thoughts, and opinions of children and youth across Trinidad and Tobago on eliminating violence and abuse against children, particularly gender-based violence.  

The Campaign leverages stories and insights from the lived experiences of over four hundred (400) children on what makes them feel unsafe and their recommendations for addressing the problems they experience.  

Key insights include:  

VIOLENCE AND ABUSE ARE NOT OKAY: Violence and abuse should not be a normalised part of life.  While we may see it around us, it is not something we should accept or be forced to face.  

VIOLENCE AND ABUSE ARE EVERYONE’S BUSINESS: We have a culture of ignoring abuse or distancing ourselves from violence when we see it, but we have a responsibility to challenge it. 

ABUSE IS NOT DISCIPLINE: Parents and caretakers sometimes defend corporal punishment as the most effective form of discipline.  Discipline that instils fear or inflicts hurt or harm instead of imparting a lesson is abuse.  It’s important to think before you act when it comes to discipline; actions have lasting consequences on the lives of children.  

BOYS AND MEN ARE VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE AND ABUSE, TOO: Men and boys are often typecast as the lone perpetrators of violence and ignored as victims, but boys and men are often victims themselves.  It’s important to create safe spaces for men and boys to express emotions, be listened to without judgement, and get help when needed.  It’s also important to show men and boys how to deal with their feeling and emotions in safe and healthy ways.   

WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT’S RIGHT AND WHAT’S NOT: Education and re-education are critical to addressing violence against children and gender-based violence.  There are many behaviours and practices which cause hurt and harm that we’ve learnt to accept but are not right.  Sometimes we need help understanding when our words and actions are not right, and we may need to be shown how to behave differently.  

VIOLENCE AND ABUSE AGAINST CHILDREN CANNOT BE STOPPED BY CHILDREN ALONE: Adults need to know and understand when they are causing hurt and harm to children.  Addressing violence and abuse against children must involve re-educating adults on how to support, care for, and guide children well.  

Heroes Foundation CEO Lawrence Arjoon with Campaign Youth Production team Tahirah Mc Donald, Meagan Primus, Oba Hyland. 

Heroes Campaign Youth Production team members 

YOU CAN GET HELP: There are people who can and will help if you are a victim of violence and abuse.  Use the reporting channels to get help: 

  • Police:999  
  • Children’s Authority: 996  
  • ChildLine: 131 

The Spotlight Initiative is a global initiative of the United Nations which has received generous support from the European Union. It aims to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.  

Campaign content can be found on all social media platforms for the organisations.  



Cheer Fair was vibes! 

Heroes is proud to have partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Trinidad and Tobago Country Office and U-Report Trinidad and Tobago for Cheer Fair 2022.

Cheer Fair offered fun, engaging virtual and physical activities focused on digital and progressive areas for the entire family.  This year’s activities covered Gender Equality, Climate Change and the Blue Economy, Health, Water, Housing, Digital Transformation, and Transportation.

We were happy to get dozens of young people registered with U-Report Trinidad and Tobago at Cheer Fair as well!  U-Report is a digital tool that allows children and youth to share their views and opinions on issues important to them.  That information is then used to influence Government decision-making and policies.

Thanks to the IDB team for yet another amazing event, to all the young people who signed up for U-Report, to the exhibitors who showed us cool and innovative things, AND for all the goodies 😉

IDB Country Representative for Trinidad and Tobago, Carina Cockburn, notes, “This Forum will allow leaders and experts to ensure that our development agenda meets the needs of one of our most important stakeholders – the youth.  Creating a sustainable future requires us to ensure that their voices and views guide our planning and decision making.”

See you next year at Cheer Fair!

From L to R: Heroes Foundation CEO and IDB Next Gen Board Member, Lawrence Arjoon; U-Report Youth Committee Member and Heroes G2G Councillor, Zachary Benjamin; Heroes G2G Chair, Zion Benjamin, Minister of Planning and Development, The Honourable Penelope Beckles; IDB Country Representative, Carina Cockburn; Heroes G2G Councillors, Carey Greaves, Jahiem Fraser, Hadara Ramsahai, Luke Leopold, Kevin Gonzales 

U-Report Coordinator, Camille Bethel, U-Report Youth Committee Member Jeremy Baptiste  

Visitors at the Heroes Foundation and U-Report Cheer Fair booth.

IDB Next Gen Board Member, Dawsher Charles at the Heroes Foundation and U-Report Cheer Fair booth.  

Visitors at the Heroes Foundation and U-Report Cheer Fair booth.  

Visitors at the Heroes Foundation and U-Report Cheer Fair booth.