The ministry rewards the winners of the SMILE and HALO competitions


The Department of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS) recognized the winners and participants of its Seniors Mastering ICT for Learning and Engagement (SMILE) and Honoring Appreciation and Loving Older Persons (HALO) competitions.

The brief ceremony took place at the ministry’s headquarters along St. Vincent Street in Port-of-Spain on December 8.

The #HALO and #SMILE competitions were launched and tagged as part of the ministry’s commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons on October 1. under the themeDigital equity for all ages.

Participants were invited to submit a one-minute video to teach and help other seniors (60+) use their cell phones, tablets, and / or home computers.

The selfie contest, which targeted children 12 and under and those 60 and older, saw individuals submit a selfie of how they honored, appreciated and loved an older person.

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, activities included the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to safely and conveniently engage older people and the national community.

In her brief remarks, Social Development and Family Services Minister Donna Cox said she was delighted to see young people participate in the competition, noting that it bodes well for the future of promoting healthy intergenerational relationships.

As a result, she presented the winners with their prizes.

Tishean Abraham Warner and Jahedon Noel placed first in the #SMILE video and selfie contests, respectively.

According to Tishean, he showed his grandmother Theodora how to download and use the Google Duo app for video calls. Jahedon, in his selfie submission, says he appreciates and love his grandma spending time with her and cuddling her every day.

Prizes were also awarded to Alexander Davis, finalist in the Selfie and #SMILE competition.

Minister Cox also thanked the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO), Trinidad and Tobago National Petroleum and Heritage Petroleum Company Limited for donating the prizes for the competitions.


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