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Home | Agencies & Programmes | National Commission for Self Help Limited

National Commission for Self Help Limited (NCSHL)


This Programme keeps the spirit of self-help and self-reliance alive. The fullest participation of all members of a group are involved in the decision making process. It promotes the true essence of working with people rather than working for the people. Projects place maximum reliance on community resources of time and labour and even some financing, supplemented by technical services and materials from the Government.

The Self-Help Commission implements infrastructure projects throughout Trinidad and Tobago. These projects include roads, drainage, retaining walls, bridges and house repairs. These projects throughout the years have been successful in ameliorating hardships, especially in rural communities and some urban settlements, giving the residents better access to their homes, stimulating cottage industries and promoting sustainable development.

Since its inception, the NCSHL has engaged in mobilizing citizens nationwide through collaborative works with Community action groups/village groups/NGOs. This happens when the NCSHL provides the building materials and technical expertise while the community provides the required labour.

Through this action, the thriving spirit of self reliance among communities is promoted.

Type of projects which can be funded by NCSHL:

  • Water
  • Roads
  • Electricity
  • Drains
  • Bridges
  • Community Centres
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Houses of Worship
  • Schools
  • Environment
  • Recreation facilities

Minor Repairs/Reconstruction Grant:

The National Self Help Commission offers a programme called the Minor Repairs/Reconstruction Grant (MRRG) where assistance is provided to families who are affected by Natural disasters; Fire; Flooding or an Old Age Pensioners or Socially Disabled Persons.

The assistance is provided in the form of a Purchase Order whereby the building materials can be used to replace dilapidated wooden flooring boards, galvanize sheetings, wooden windows and frames, wooden door, ceilings, flooring joists, rafters, steps, partitions etc.

The maximum of funding is Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) for the repair work and the labour component is to be sourced/ provided by the applicant.

Community Centres Construction Programme:

The Community action group/Village group/NGO who is exploring the option of improving their standard of living through the NCSHL’s “development Programme” is required to do the following:

  • Appointment of a President who will act as a “Liaison  Officer” for your community
  • It is MANDATORY for members of the community to  supply ALL the manual labour for this project.
  • Completion of the DP Application form in full with  the following attachments:
    • Material requirements with an estimate of prices   from 3 different Hardwares
    • Details on the labour component for supervision  and labourers (MUST be supplied by the community)
  • The completed form is to be submitted to the NCSHL Office which will be acknowledged and a Project Officer assigned
  • Upon a site visit by the Project Officer and  recommendations made, the application will then be submitted for approval by  a Committee of the NCSHL;
  • After approval is granted, the Project Officer will  advise of the date of Implementation (involves the issuance of building  materials ONLY in the form of Purchase Order to a designated  Hardware/Supplier.)
  • The Project will be monitored by the Project Officer  until the approved funding is utilized
  • Upon completion of your project, the NCSHL will host  a Ceremony in commemoration of your communities’ successes.


An individual or family applying for the MRRG Grant can be provided with assistance if the following criteria are met:

  • Income eligibility (i.e. household size in relation  to monthly income/poverty line)
  • Applicants
    will be considered only if the projects  are community driven by an
    identifiable community organization (i.e Kiwanis,  Lions, Rotary, SVP,
    Village Council) and is prepared to co-ordinate the  necessary
    repair/reconstruction work.
  • In the case of repairs, the dwelling house must be  owner occupied
  • Land tenancy on which the house is located must be  freehold, leasehold or rented.
  • Assistance will not be extended to squatting  households except where there is regularization of squatting.

How to Apply:

Applications are now available and can be collected at all Community Development offices in the eight (8) districts or contact the NCSH Head Office at:

Ministry of Community Development
National Commission for Self Help
Ground and First Floor
Lasalle Court
75 Abercromby Street,
Port of Spain
Phone: 627-9519
Fax: 627-8435

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