Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Vol. 5, Issue 1, 2013

Article 7
“Limin’ n’ Learnin’”: Implementing Collaborative Service-Learning Programmes in Trinidad and Tobago – Lessons from the Cotton Tree Foundation and Immortelle Children’s Centre Projects

Jane Holmes Bernstein
Boston Children’s Hospital

Allyson Hamel-Smith
Cotton Tree Foundation

Jacqui Leotaud
Immortelle Children’s Centre

Esla Lynch
Eshe’s Learning Centre

Laura Palmer
Seton Hall University



Abstract

Sharing expertise, skills, training models and attitudes are professional obligations of psychologists in our increasingly connected globe. This brief service report describes a now nine-year-old service-learning programme (SLP) project in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). The two centres of service delivery are non-governmental organizations (NGOs): the Cotton Tree Foundation and the Immortelle Children’s Centre for Special Education. The SLP has been administered by the local NGO leaders in collaboration with neuropsychology and counseling psychology supervisors who have extensive experience in psychology training, supervision and programme administration in the United States (U.S.). Psychological and occupational therapy services have been provided by psychologists and neuropsychologists in training (graduate and post-graduate) and by occupational therapists both in training and in independent practice. A viable mechanism for psychology service delivery must be established as a keystone of the research infrastructure which is needed to develop a coherent understanding of the psychological wellbeing and needs of communities in the Caribbean.