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Perched on the eastern hills of Port of Spain, Laventille overlooks the capital as the birthplace of the steelpan and the landmark for the first sighting of an accurate meridian. Once only connected to the city by a beaten walking bridge, Laventille, during post emancipation was populated by recently freed slaves from the Mandingo, Ibo, Yoruba and Krumen tribes. Known as a place of refuge among most, people ran to the hills for more affordable housing and jobs. However, despite the presence of cultural celebration, religious pluralism and access to employment, the media told a different tale of Laventille. Characterized as an overpopulated town, the beauty of the land, the story of the people failed to reach the ears of outsiders. Whether it was the aggressive defiance of these narratives or the belief in these tales on the island that contributed to the social issues Laventille currently faces, PATCHWERK wants to join hands with the community members, leaders and activists working to empower Laventille. We will create a space that offers this community a platform to tell their stories, strengthen their education and plant new seeds.

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