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Remarks by Ambassador Candace Bond at La Romaine Migrant Support
June 5, 2023


Remarks for United States Ambassador Candace Bond at
La Romaine Migrant Support
Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 09:45 a.m.

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, members of the media, students, and friends.

This has been a wonderful opportunity to visit the La Romaine Migrant Support Group, or LARMS, and view firsthand the important work they perform on behalf of refugees and migrants, especially educating and serving these beautiful children who represent our collective future.

We have been pleased to partner with LARMS over the past few years through the marine toy drive at Christmas and other activities. Each time my team visits LARMS, they return humbled by the generosity of the St. Benedict’s Roman Catholic Church.

In 2022, my team had the honor of working with LARMS as a part the U.S. State Department’s Julia Taft grant program. The Taft program issues grants to local organizations across the globe for small-scale, quick-impact programs to meet the critical needs of refugees and migrants, and the host communities that support them. LARMS’S project was selected and with U.S. support, LARMS is helping families to meet their most fundamental needs by providing food and medicine in San Fernando.

This grant shows the degree to which the United States is committed to empowering grassroots efforts to support vulnerable populations.

We also visit LARMS because of their commitment to the education of all children in Trinidad and Tobago.

I come from a family that deeply believes in the power of education.

I sat on the Los Angeles County school board that serves over two million children, because education is so near and dear to my heart. All children deserve the right to learn, grow, and dream, and LARMS shares that belief.

Our great American civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that “everyone can be great, because everyone can serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

That greatness, heart, and grace are on full display here in la romaine as LARMS teaches children and supports families with a variety of services.

And that work is needed like never before. Right now, over 100 million people are currently displaced from their homes across the world, with many traveling to Trinidad and Tobago’s shores.

While we continue to engage and promote peace and security around the world to prevent the need for people to leave their homes, we also continue to be inspired by organizations like LARMS which respond with kindness and generosity to those who have been displaced.

Regarding our role in helping displaced persons, the United States accepts more refugees and migrants than any country on earth, and we continue to accept 30,000 people, primarily from this hemisphere, every single month.

In Trinidad and Tobago, we will continue to work with partners like LARMS. We thank father [Jayson] Grell and Angie [Ramnarine] for their wonderful work. We are so proud of their courage and resilience, and they are great examples of how we can serve our fellow human beings in need.

The fruits of their efforts are manifest in the many lives they have touched and the faces of these children that they are helping to educate.

Thank you for the work you do every day. And thank you to all of you for coming here to help us shine light on this worthwhile and beautiful effort.