Entertainment News

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Monitoring Govt’s action on elimination of discrimination against women

Lifestyle - Mon, 08/27/2018 - 06:17

The GORTT is a signatory to the UN Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The newly formed CEDAW Committee of T&T CCoTT aims to monitor the Government’s actions with respect to the Convention.

At the launch event at the Government Campus Plaza, Port-of-Spain, on August 4, Professor Rhoda Reddock, who was recently elected to the United Nations CEDAW for the first time in the history of T&T, gave a brief history of CEDAW, which was entered into force on September 3, 1981. She said this is one of ten treaties which are governed overall by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland.

Reddock said she felt, “The establishment of these UN Human Rights Conventions represent the highest aspirations of humanity for equity, inclusion, fairness, non-violence and equal opportunities for all to achieve their fullest potential, regardless of accidents of birth, ability, appearance, geography, sex and gender differences or identities, economic circumstances etc, and therefore it is important for me that all citizens of the world should be aware of these conventions to rally to their support, to ensure that they are used to the fullest and that they can perform the role that they were established to accomplish.”

Reddock said countries which are signatories to these treaties are required to present reports to the UN every four years, “so it becomes a big pressure, especially on small island developing states like ours, to fulfill our responsibilities to report. Many countries are unable to maintain this standard and some countries have never reported.”

In T&T’s case, reports have been submitted twice since it signed on to the Convention. In 2002, the first, second and third reports were submitted, while in 2016, the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh reports were submitted. In both cases, shadow reports were presented by local NGOs, which is allowed under the Convention. All the reports are available on the CEDAW website.

Rheddock said: “You can either do a shadow report on the entire report or you can do a report on just one aspect. The Committees use the shadow reports and more research in relation to them, to come up with how they respond to governments regarding implementation.

“When the Committee raises these questions, the Government then has to go back, do research and come back with explanations of why they didn’t do it or to say that they will do it, but of course since we know nothing about this, we are really unable to monitor. It was the experience of presenting the reports which gave them the idea of the importance of having a committee that would monitor the work of CEDAW, which led to the formation of the CCoTT.”

Reddock added that citizens of T&T don’t know a great deal about the work of UN and its bodies and conventions, and said, “although our country is a long-time member of the UN. Yet this is a very important global institution and the T&T Mission to the UN works with them on our behalf. I am therefore pleased to see this committee established to bring CEDAW front and centre in the minds of T&T and hopefully the entire region.”

Master of Ceremonies Dr Sheila Rampersad said CCoTT is a volunteer NGO focused mainly on advocacy, public awareness and education around CEDAW. She said: “The convener is Terry Ince, the treasurer is Cavelle Ince and the secretary is Asha Permanand and the organisation also comprises of Council Members, advisors and a number of members of sub-committees.

“CCoTT is committed to partnering with other organisations, state organisations, civil society organisations and they expect that they will do this with transparency and accountability, thus setting a different standard for more national thinking.”

Membership of the CCoTT is open to all individuals and meetings are held every other month. For more information on the CEDAW Committee of T&T, find them on Facebook, call (868) 489-2185 and email [email protected].

Categories: Entertainment News

The underdog

Lifestyle - Sat, 08/25/2018 - 22:20

Aggression between dogs is a complex psychological condition requiring a professional dog behaviourist to evaluate and treat each case individually. In this fourth article of the series we will look at how owners contribute to inter-dog aggression.

Inter-dog aggression is fighting between dogs living in the same household. Some owners often complain that their dogs only fight when they are around but leave them alone and everything is fine. Those same owners find it hard to accept that they are most likely the cause of the problem.

While compassion is to be encouraged, anthropomorphism should be treated with caution.

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics or behaviour to an animal. Simply put in this case, it is when we treat dogs as if they are children and expect them to understand and behave as humans.

The reality is that the world is a harsh one for dogs. In human society we are expected to nurture and care for people as they become older and less capable of caring for themselves. In dog society an older dog suffering from ill health (or just physically incapable of strength and ability) is expected to become deferential to a younger and fitter dog. Naturally, this does not sit well with a dog owner who feels sorry for the older (and possibly ill) dog. The result is that the owner interferes with the interactions between the two dogs and creates stress in both dogs. The situation changes from one where the older dog naturally submits to the younger dog with no fighting to one where the older dog is made to become dominant over the younger one by the owner and the younger one is punished for doing something that comes naturally to him as a dog. The older dog now feels the need to be assertive over the younger one and the younger one becomes insecure and starts to challenge the older one more aggressively to get his point across.

So, you see where this is heading. As much as it may seem unfair to you, avoid getting involved in situations where your younger dog is challenging your older dog. If you take a back seat and simply observe, you will notice that they will sort it out on their own with no blood being shed. The moment you start meddling is most likely when teeth will be bared.

Similarly, if the dogs are of the same age or are siblings then fighting is more common as we discussed in the third article. Again, it is human nature to feel sorry for the underdog, but it goes against dog nature for the underdog to prevail. Do not show preference to the underdog because it gives him ideas above his station and will encourage him to fight back.

This also increases insecurity in the other dog and will make him more likely to be aggressive towards the underdog. Having said that, do not encourage bullying, which we will deal with next.

Copyright © Kristel-Marie Ramnath 2018

Categories: Entertainment News

Angel does it all for love

Lifestyle - Sat, 08/25/2018 - 22:16

As an adolescent Angel Harrt, a former St Francois Girls’ College student, fell in love with romance novels, but was not allowed by her mother to read them.

This, however, did not hinder her obsession with the literary world. She would hide and create her own safe haven to read and explore love from words.

This magical literary world she created was not to keep all to herself and so the idea of finding a way to create a safe space for others to live their reality and wildest dreams through words, was born.

Harrt, a single mother of two, has written three Indie published books between 2016 to now.

They are, The Boxer and The Writer, All Her Panty Exposed, and My Big Fat Book of Poems, the latter geared towards the empowerment of women with a little more “bumper to handle.”

The books of this Point Fortin native, who partially grew up in Morvant, are available on Amazon and will be in hard copy soon.

Today, the 41-year-old former columnist with the Punch newspaper shares with the Sunday Guardian just how her love affair with literature helped her live her dreams.

When and what was the first piece you recall writing and what would have inspired it?

‘Beauty in the eyes of the beholder’.

I can’t find a copy of it but I remember the idea behind it. It was a poem and I felt like people were seeing what they wanted and we all have our own version of what ‘beauty’ is. I wanted to share my own version. Wish I could find that piece though.

Are you strictly a romance novelist or do you explore other genres?

I have explored different genres and I am trying not to restrict myself to one genre. I do have unpublished works that need a little bit more of my time and energy. Stay tuned, you will be the first to get a peek.

Your bio speaks of this recent book of poems being written to empower women. How so? What are some of the things addressed in this book?

It’s about body positivism. Hoping to get women comfortable in their skin no matter their weight and size. The idea is to let women and men understand that we are all needed in some way to impact on someone. It’s not about being fluffy or not. It speaks about the feelings and emotions that you get. That depressive feeling from being called obese. It talks about the confidence gained from acknowledging that your weight does not define you. I also have a romance novel geared towards encouraging openness amongst us as women and men. We are beings with feelings, thoughts...and will act on them if given a chance. That’s me being brief and plugging my book All Her Panty Exposed.

Are your books available at local bookstores?

It will be exclusive to Scribbles and quills located in Chaguanas very soon.

However, I do have copies in hand to be sold.

Who are your favourite authors?

Favourite? Hmmmm, I honestly do not have a favourite.

I grew up under Harlequin and the Mills and Boons era so the authors would vary, but the publishing company is what stuck with me more.

Who do your books target— demographic?

Women between 25-45. Or that is the hope. Lol!

As a single parent, as mentioned in your bio, how do you find the time to write? How long does it take you to complete a book?

When the children are asleep and the house is quiet, I take my tablet and trash out what I have to. But I do not limit myself. I even use my mobile to write and because of this I can write anywhere. I am thankful to technology and its advances. It may take a month, for the most, three, to get a book out. Writing is easy, self editing is the hard part, then comes promotions and advertising.

Those are the crippling points for any Indie author.

There are a lot of romance novels out there and novelist, what separates you and your work from them?

I recently gave my book to a male audience to read and they said they liked it. Reason, it was raw.

Yes, I would give descriptions of my surroundings but I write exactly what would be felt. No frills. No blue skies. Just pure, unadulterated words.

I write how I would feel if placed in a situation as the character. I try to keep every word as real as I can with the world we live in. It’s a fantasy but it’s my fantasy, your fantasy or even your bosses’ fantasy.

Exactly how they would imagine it to be.

You said you were reading romance novels since you were little. Do you think it may have had any adverse effect on you and relationships. Most parents won’t approve because of what they believe it could do to the mind of that young child?

As a child I thought childish things.

I acted on what was read or seen on the screens. I wasn’t taught about relationships and what is needed until I got older. So yes, it did shape my relationships then, but today that has changed. I can own my sexuality and love in a healthier way. Understanding that it’s not about others but how you treat those you confess to love.

You have married music with your writing, talk a bit about this.

This is personal, but I would say this, before music entered my world I would sing or dance because that is what others did.

I wrote about music before it became my reality. Only when I was introduced to music I knew its true meaning.

Then I understood why we sang. Why our feet tapped to a rhythm that only we can understand.

It was then I embraced the sounds of the trumpet or the beat of the drums, and the sweet tune of the pan. When I embraced music is when I started breathing again.

Music took on a new meaning and transformed the ideals I had.

More info

For more on Angel Harrt go to: Instagram - @angel_the_author

Facebook - https://www.facebook. com/angelcornerpublishers/
Twitter - @angelcorner22
Web site - http://angelharrt.com/

Categories: Entertainment News

Weight Loss Camp brings benefits

Lifestyle - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 23:28

The recently concluded Summer Weight Loss Camp held by To’ren Healthcare Consultancy (THC) saw an improvement in the children who attended both in terms of their weight and their lifestyles.

The camp, which ran from July 9 to August 17 at St Anthony’s College, Diego Martin, saw the children exercising three times a day, along with inspirational and morale-boosting talks by personalities such as Learie Joseph, Andrew Lewis and Hasely Crawford, and of course lots of play time. The children who attended the camp ranged in age from five to 18 and were split into two groups, five to 12 and 13 to 18.

All the children expressed appreciation for the camp and said they want to come back next year. McKay Williams, six, said she enjoyed the exercises, especially zumba, kickboxing, aquaerobics and bootcamp, and she thought the camp was fun.

Tyler Toussaint said her favourite activities were swimming and kickboxing, and she also enjoyed the motivational speakers. “The speeches were very good, it was awesome. I think I will lose a lot of weight and when I go back to school my friends will see a difference in me.”

Khian Thorne said he would continue to exercise after the camp is done. “I used to be thin but then I started eating a lot of food like KFC and stuff, so my mummy and some teachers I know sent me here. I learned how to eat better, though I didn’t like all the food, because I can’t eat some and others are weird tasting.

“This is a good camp for everybody to come to, because children will have fun, they can run around the field and learn how to run faster and gain more knowledge about their health.”

Jason Robertson, 18, said he enjoyed the motivational talks and learning about food. “Hasely Crawford came and told me it doesn’t matter what you eat, once you eat it in moderation. One of the people told me that the oil in cheese is not good for you but you could gain some benefit from the protein in it. I lost four pounds and I plan to lose five by the end of the camp. I learned about different ways of eating than before I came and I’m going to continue eating healthy once I leave here. I decided to have ice-cream once a month to get that craving out of the way.”

Ronnie Sampson, 13, said she enjoyed the spirit of the camp most, as the counsellors were very motivating. “Sometimes when we didn’t want to do an activity, they would push us, which was necessary to do what we had to get done. I think it’s a good camp to come to whether you’re overweight or not but obviously the camp is for obese people and people in the overweight category. It’s a fun camp and if you want to exercise, it can help you maintain whatever weight you want to have. I will continue to use the things I learned here after I leave.”

Vaughn Gajadhar, 12, said even though the exercises were hard, they were a lot of fun. “I lost a lot of weight. Even though I had gotten taller, my waist went down by eight inches which is very good. My mom and my entire family are right behind me on this. I learned good eating habits, good portion sizes on what to eat, learning what to do with food and where to leave it, how to defrost it and many other things. I learned what type of food we should not eat all the time, what’s the size of the food we should eat, we should have different types of protein and other things benefiting our body.

“I would say I liked the camp overall, it’s a really nice camp. I think many children would benefit from this and live a healthy life after this camp, once you continue doing everything you learnt.”

CEO Leah Lewis said at the end of the camp, there were definite gains seen in the children mentally, physically and emotionally and she would like to run the camp again in 2019.

Categories: Entertainment News

One Young World Caribbean Caucus 2018

Lifestyle - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 23:27

Naparima College, in collaboration with the One Young World Caribbean Region, will host the One Young World Caribbean Caucus 2018 from 8 am to 5.30 pm on August 29 and 30, at the school’s auditorium, Lute Drive, San Fernando. The theme of the caucus is Building a Caribbean of Excellence; New Challenges! New Answers!

During the successful inaugural One Young World Caribbean Caucus, held at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business in August 2017, young leaders from seven countries, including Germany and the USA, actively participated. A total of 85 organisations were represented at the caucus, and committed to the delivery of specific action items upon their return to their organisations in the hopes of instituting meaningful socio-political and economic development.

This time around, the One Young World Caribbean Caucus will attract 850 attendees from across the Caribbean, mainly between the ages of 15-35 years old, to participate in a range of discussions designed to promote widespread social action and impact on some of the Caribbean’s most pressing issues.

Permission has been granted by the Ministry of Education to allow for secondary students across the country to be engaged for the Caucus. Invitations were extended to secondary schools and tertiary institutions across the country to have their students actively participate.

Youth organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), environmental awareness groups, sporting organisations and other social and community-based special interest groups (SIGs) have also been invited.

One Young World ambassadors and young leaders from across the Caribbean will be present to represent a wide range of interests from across the region and to communicate their experiences in addressing long-standing challenges.

Categories: Entertainment News

La Plaisance Hindu Mandir hosts first Family Day

Lifestyle - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 08:26

The La Plaisance Hindu Mandir in La Romaine hosted its first Family Fun Day on August 19. The event was held as the temple celebrated its 55th anniversary.

The Woodland Community Centre in La Fortune came alive as families participated in the day’s activities like the lime and spoon competition, musical chairs, three-legged race and more.

The mandir was started in an attempt to educate the youth of the village in Hindi, to teach the children to conduct Sandhya puja (which was held weekly at homes in the village) and to enable children to have a better understanding of the Bhagavat Gita through lectures. The classes were initially held under the house of Enil Benjamin. During that time a lot of land was rented from Chandroo’s Estate. A lot of land, surrounded by cane fields, was then acquired from a man only known as “Mr Ishmael.”

In 1963, construction of the temple began. Harry Patasar, Pundit Krishna Ramsumair and Enil, along with Latchmi Sharma and Ramphal Persad, got involved along with other villagers who offered their labour free of charge. After two years, all construction stopped because of lack of funding. It was then taken over by Latchmi Patasar who ran the temple until April 6, 2011, when he passed away.

Throughout its time, many pundits have passed through the mandir —Pundit Basdeo Pryelal, Pundit Vickramaditya Maharaj, Pundit Krishna Ramsumair, Pundit Anil Maharaj, Pundit Ramesh Kissoon, and now Pundit Bhesham Maharaj.

The temple has a vibrant women’s group headed by Kharamdai Patasar and a youth group from which a cricket team has been formed. Regular activities include Divali celebrations with mehfils, monthly kathas and kartic by the creek.

From September 13, the mandir will host an 11-night Ganesh yagna.

Categories: Entertainment News

Diatonic Pan Institute—empowering the nation’s youth

Lifestyle - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 08:24

Diatonic Pan Institute, a registered NGO and CBO, hosted its annual vacation pan camp during the period July 9 to August 10. A total of 24 students participated in this year’s programme which involved playing the instrument, understanding rhythms and basic music theory. Sporting activities was also included in the form of cricket, football and draughts as part of the package.

The programme was managed and executed by Diatonic youthful members who are all qualified graded musicians, including administrator Alyssa Saney (14) and music tutor Jemeel Byer (16), with assistance from Leiah Mollineau (16), Kyle Charles (18) and Nicholai Hospedales (14).

The graduation was held on Saturday, August 11, and attended by Pan Trinbago South Central vice chairman Richard Baker, Atlantic LNG Denise Maloney, and Councillors Bowen and Neptune from the Siparia Regional Corporation. The graduates showcased their acquired skills by performing much to the delight of the audience a number of songs and scales that they were taught during the camp.

Diatonic Pan Institute president Keith Byer spoke to a packed audience comprising the graduates parents and members of their extended family, well-wishers and specially invited guests about the importance of sports and culture (with special emphasis on the steelband) on the lives of our nations youths. He also emphasised that the camp was a type of training the trainer module since the youthful members of Diatonic who managed the project were actually being taught life skills and developed for adulthood.

Assistance was given by Atlantic LNG and the Ministry of Community Development, Culture & The Arts.

The pan camp was provided free of charge to the community of Siparia.

Categories: Entertainment News

It’s Piece Ah Cake for GuayaFest sports crown

Lifestyle - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 08:22

Piece Ah Cake pulled out all the stops to capture the overall community championship title at the 2018 GuayaFest Sports & Family Day held at the La Savanne Recreation Ground, Newlands, Guayaguayare, on Saturday.

Adroitly marshalled by team manager Stacy Lett, Piece Ah Cake pipped 2017 champions, Jam Town, to the crown as four community teams competed in age-group races and novelty events. Placing third was Block Nine, with Solid Gold in fourth position.

President of the GuayaFest Committee, Raymond Cozier, thanked long-standing sponsor BP Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT) for its continuing support toward the staging of the event which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.

“GuayaFest is a community festival which seeks to showcase the abundant talents of the people of Guayaguayare and to bring the various communities together in wholesome and fun activities and events. We believe that this is the longest-running event of its kind in the country,” said Cozier.

Matthew Pierre, community liaison officer, bpTT, said the energy company was proud to be associated with GuayaFest over the years by promoting community togetherness and camaraderie, noting that Guayaguayare was part of bpTT’s home community.

Events which thrilled the appreciative crowd at the sports and family day included the centipede race, balloon crush, sack race, walk d coconut, water derby, ace-in-the-hole, in my father’s shoes, coin toss, diaper derby and dress-up race which all drew peals of laughter

The entire GuayaFest celebrations feature several events including the sports and family day, worship and thanksgiving, cultural shows, fish broth cook-out, as well as educational projects.

Categories: Entertainment News

Eight hours of sweet pan on D’Avenue

Lifestyle - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 08:20

One of the most anticipated steelband events on the planet will be held tomorrow in Woodbrook. The Woodbrook/St James Community Association, chaired by former councillor Cleveland Garcia, will stage Pan on D’Avenue VII in memory of departed Hadco Phase II Pan Groove and Laventille Serenaders member Florence Watson.

With the Roadblock ensemble stationary at Adam Smith Square, 24 of the nation’s popular steel orchestras will parade along Ariapita Avenue, from 6.30 pm.

The steelbands will be accompanied by moko jumbies, with some extra “umph” provided by Laventille Rhythm Section.

The evening’s programme also includes a presentation of awards to individuals who have dedicated their lives to culture, the unsung heroes of our nation’s landscape.

Twenty of these dedicated citizens will be given awards tonight and the list, beside being distinguished, has a wide mix of our cultural folk who have enriched our nation, most for over half a century.

Tomorrow’s parade will commence at the corner of Taylor Street and shall proceed east to French Street corner.

The first group to parade the route will be Laventille Rhythm Section, atop a huge Junior Sammy trailer, followed by Laventille Serenaders, led by Anthony “Ben’ Up” Kinsale.

Phase II Pan Groove is expected to end the parade at 2.30 am on Sunday morning in memory of Watson, preceded by 2016 National Panorama (Large) champion Desperadoes.

Beyond the weekend, there is pan in abundance for the nation’s 56th Independence Day anniversary next Friday.

Breakfast and brunches are being planned by Angostura Newtown Playboys, Shell Invaders and MHTL Starlift, at their respective panyards, beginning early in the morning.

Then, as the sun sets and the grand fireworks display is held at the Queen’s Park Savannah,  Desperadoes will host Fireworks & Lime, at its Tragarete Road rehearsal site.

Special performers include Zanda & Friends, Crazy, Chucky Gordon, Mr King, Christopher Morris and Naomi Sinette. The annual Invaders Independence Day Sidewalk Breakfast Sale will begin at 7 am, admission is free, and entertainment will be by Brimblers, St James Tripolians, and Invaders senior band and Youth Steel Orchestra.


List of steelbands for Pan on D’Avenue VII

Pan Elders
NGC Couva Joylanders
Tropical Angel Harps
CAL Skiffle
FCB Supernovas
Sangre Grande Cordettes
San Juan East Side
bpTT Renegades
Hadco Phase II Pan Groove
Massy Trinidad All Stars
Nutrien Silver Stars
Shell Invaders
MHTL Starlift
Laventille Serenaders
Harvard Harps
St Margaret’s Youth Steel
Angostura Newtown Playboys
Western Stars Philharmonic
Laventille Road Police Youth
Power Stars
Pan on D’Avenue
2018 Awardees:
Trevor Jadunath
Dune Ali
Penelope Spencer
Yvonne Thomas
Enrico Rajah
Mike” Big Mike” Antoine
Pascal Ramkissoon
Fareid Carvalho
Dean Ackin
Robert Amar
Wendell Manwarren
Marlienne Roberts
Fareid Emamali
Brian Kuei Tung
Gillian Bishop
Joslynne Carr Sealey
Roderick Ward
Heather Henderson-Gordon
Noel La Pierre

Categories: Entertainment News

ALTA students better selves

Lifestyle - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 05:56

In celebration of ALTA’s 25th anniversary, ALTA students around the country were asked to write about the impact the organisation has had on their lives. Since 1992, ALTA has provided classes around the country for thousands of Trinidadians who struggle with reading and writing. ALTA students enrol in the programme at many different levels of literacy and leave when they have accomplished their literacy goals. While it is difficult to manage work and family life alongside ALTA classes, students continue to persevere and in all cases see changes in their lives after attending ALTA classes. This week, a student from our Santa Cruz venue hares how ALTA has impacted her life.

“I came to ALTA because of my past experience, you see before in primary school children would say I was (dunce) illiterate and I always wanted to change the stigma. After I finish my secondary schooling I wanted to better for myself, knowing my mom always had it hard, because my father never took care of me from birth and never gave an input in my life doing this would also make her happy. So what I want from ALTA is to better myself in my education and be able to get a better work at the end of this.

I expect to be better at learning and the level of the work is just good for me to be able to read, write and spell. It has difficult, but it turned out to be normal, I like it. Yes this is the experience that I am learning in my everyday life and sometimes I would go through my sight words and phonic cards (material) on my personal time because I want to do better, and even test my reading ability, for instance if I pick up a book I want to be able to read it for myself. I need to keep motivating myself.

Coming to ALTA I have notice changes in my family life as both my mother and sister would push me to come ALTA, they are really involved in my learning now, even at times if I missed class my mother in particular would “coast off” (get angry) with me. I don’t have any changes in the way I relate to people, but I do feel better about myself, because I took a step to change my life and it is in the right direction. Due to this my plans for the future has change, now that I am an ALTA student as I have a chance now. My hidden desire is now becoming a reality.”

More info 

Volunteer, Donate or Sponsor-a-student. Call 621-5708 or email [email protected] for more info. Keep up to date with ALTA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: ALTA

Categories: Entertainment News

Spanish Club returns to Nalis

Lifestyle - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 05:54

The motto of the club is “Aprende español y disfrutarás de la vida” (Learn Spanish and you will enjoy life!) and that is exactly what the members of The Spanish Conversation Club are doing.

The club will resume on Wednesday, September 5, and runs until December 18.

Sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 5 pm to 6:30 pm in the First Floor Seminar Room, located on the first floor of Nalis, corner Hart and Abercromby Streets, Port-of-Spain.

The Spanish Club, is an initiative of the Latin American and Spanish embassies, in collaboration with Nalis.

The following embassies will be participating in the club: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Spain.

Membership to the Club is free and open to all people who have working knowledge of Spanish and wish to improve their communication skills and fluency.

Sessions are held every Wednesday, one of the Latin American or Spanish Embassies hosts the session, during which various topics will be discussed.

Given our geographical position to Latin America, it is important for citizens to learn Spanish in order to take advantage of numerous opportunities for trade, education, tourism and leisure from millions of Spanish speakers that surround the Caribbean islands.

This is why Spanish was designated the first foreign language of T&T in 2004.

People are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to meet new people and improve their fluency in Spanish to broaden their minds.

In the past sessions, participants were able to sample Chilean wine, taste a traditional Mexican Rosca de Reyes (pastry eaten during the Epiphany) which is all part and parcel of discovering the unique cultures of each presenting country.

The Spanish Club will be especially beneficial for Cape and CSEC students preparing for their upcoming examinations. At Nalis, hispanophiles are invited to access the Spanish language collection available at the adult library.

More info

n For more information you can visit the club’s Facebook page Club de Español Trinidad y Tobago.

Categories: Entertainment News

Interns paint with love

Lifestyle - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 05:52

“It is really a labour of love, of giving of your time and energy to help where it is needed most.” This heartfelt declaration was made by Jonathan Uddenberg, one of 20 vacation interns from energy company bpTT who spent last Friday painting and sprucing up the Newlands Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Centre in Guayaguayare.

The interns, some drawn from bpTT’s longstanding signature Brighter Prospects education initiative, donned gloves and safety goggles as they tackled their painting chores with real gusto.

“Spending the day here repainting the walls of this pre-school brings a different and very satisfying dimension to our internship at bpTT,” said Uddenberg, 21, a student in the Faculty of Science & Technology at The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.

“In addition to the invaluable on-the-job experience, we also get the opportunity to get involved in uplifting activities like this where we volunteer our services, time and energy to help others”

The bpTT internship is an annual programme which affords young men and women undertaking tertiary level studies, including Brighter Prospects scholarship recipients, the opportunity to gain work experience at the company, as well as do extra-work activities.

Teacher-in-charge at Newlands ECCE, Beverley Mahabir, said the centre welcomed “this wonderful gesture” by bpTT and the interns to give the school a fresh coat of paint and do general sprucing-up of the facility.

“We are extremely happy that bpTT chose our centre for their volunteerism efforts.

“As you are aware, cost of maintenance is high and the board has to raise funds on a regular basis to keep the building and surroundings in the best possible condition for the children and teachers.

What is especially heart-warming is to see the genuine warmth and satisfaction on the faces of the interns. They are really enjoying themselves,” said Mahabir.

Matthew Pierre, community liaison officer, bpTT, who oversaw the painting project, told the interns that the volunteerism effort was an integral component of their vacation work experience which should serve them in good stead in their adult life.

Categories: Entertainment News

Pan men can cook

Lifestyle - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 05:49

The T&T United Peace Foundation (TTUPF), in collaboration with the Kalamo Kings Steel Orchestra (KKSO) of Pleasantville, San Fernando, hosted its first community-focused, family-centred, meet-and-greet event last Sunday

With free admission, the Panman Can Cook Competition that featured “anything duck,” drew dozens of residents, Tourism Minister Randal Mitchell, Councillor Robert Parris, representatives of Pan Trinbago South-Central and former Culture Minister Joan Yuille-Williams, to the KKSO’s panyard, 116, Pleasantville Avenue.

Chefs and sous-chefs from four steel orchestras braved the inclement weather, set-up shop and cooked on-site.

When the teams got the go-ahead, prepping, cooking and teamwork began, with an eager crowd taunting the chefs about menu, seasoning, flavour and cooking end-time.

Having learned of the judging criteria of Best Tent, Duck, Side-Dish, Menu and Presentation, the now anxious crowd shifted interest to when the judging will start.

Like a Food Network challenge, when the fires were out, culinary delights revealed were: Camou Curried Duck with Tobago Oil-Down from the Defence Force Steel Orchestra; Shaking-It Curried Duck, Kolamo Kings; Fusion Geera with Love, Fusion Steel; and D’Village Duck with Yabba from the Friends and Family United Group.

Copping the Challenge Trophy, Best Side Dish, Best Menu and Best Presentation was Friends and Family United Group while, the Defence Force won Best Tent and Kolamo Kings, Best Duck.

DJs Kegan Baptiste and Mikael Solomon, and the SWAVIC Youth Steel Orchestra supplied entertainment.

Head organisers, Tricia Hamilton, Jason Farrel and Darren Shepperd, stated that the event was not merely a lead-up to their Peace Walk tabled for September 25, but equally important, an effort to expose talent, re-ignite camaraderie and encourage healthy socialisation within the community, revive the KKSO and send a message that Pleasantville wants to add value to T&T by playing a significant role in the peace landscape.

As part of its drive, an Independence Curry Q & Lime fund-raiser is planned for August 31, at noon, at said panyard where admission is free but with a cost attached to menus.

With the tagline “I Support Peace in T&T,” the TTUPF and KKSO expressed thanks to all who have partnered with them in making their events and efforts a success.

The judges of Pan Men Can Cook were bpTT Renegades member Sandra L Blood, Robert Paris, Joan Yuille-Williams and Jason Douglas.
For further information, call: 715.9431, 381.1644 or 377.3185.

Categories: Entertainment News

The birdsong stamp of youth excellence

Lifestyle - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 05:48

In the world of the national instrument, there is birdsong the steelband—with a common “b” and born on the UWI St Augustine campus during the tumult of the early 1970s—the birdsong Academy, with its outstanding music literacy and education programme led by industry veterans since 2004, and then there are the young people who give the institution its true meaning.

When young music vacation campers assembled to show off their skills at Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s in honour of the late Dr Pat Bishop on August 18, those who did not know it before understood then the nature of the collective birdsong undertaking and its role in promoting high standards in music.

Artist/musician/teacher Bishop died suddenly on August 20, 2011 at the age of 71, and had been an inspirational figure around the band and academy. Among the attributes she contributed were a commitment to excellence and a single-minded focus on the achievement of music literacy within the steelpan community.

At Queen’s Hall, there was evidence that the Bishop legacy has taken firm root at birdsong. Over the course of two and a half hours, the young academy musicians explored operatic Rossini, reprised the rapso of Brother Resistance and faithfully (and amazingly) rendered Robert Greenidge’s 1991 Panorama-winning arrangement of Musical Volcano for Desperadoes.

Talk has it Bishop had been responsible for the naming of the Greenidge composition, now remembered as one of the greatest Panorama pieces of all time.

For a while, even as the first half closed, the audience had concluded that the Academy Steel Ensemble had established the bona fides of birdsong’s core business of pan music when Musical Volcano shook the Queen’s Hall stage.

There was sustained applause when pan instructors Nicholas Jones, Derrianne Dyett and Terrence Sealey were called to the front after performance of the challenging arrangement. “It is definitely not an easy piece of music,” Dyett later admitted.

But when Venezuela-born conductor and birdsong tutor, Jesus Beltran Acosta, later took the baton for the full Academy Orchestra’s presentation of Rossini’s Barber of Seville, on brass and steel, all concerned became convinced that the evening’s musical expedition had reached a somewhat different, more diverse high.

That said, any of at least five sections of the show could have carried the programme from beginning to end. For example, nobody wanted the hyperactive birdsong scholar, Nyol Manswell, or Jasmine Adams, to stop singing when they accompanied the Academy Voices or when they joined the Small Ensemble led by Dyett (who also chipped in with some competent vocals) on pan and including guitar, bass, keyboard and brass players.

There was also the Academy Steel Ensemble which played a Jones arrangement of Bizet’s Carmen Overture; Anthony Hailey’s pan version of Chick Corea’s Spain and Robert Greenidge’s Musical Volcano.

After the intermission, the Brass Ensemble played My Funny Valentine and Barry Golson’s well-known jazz standard, Killer Joe.

Then, following a lively set by the Small Ensemble, the full Academy Orchestra would spell-bindingly perform Barber of Seville, Wagner’s Huldingungsmarsch, Ellington’s Mood Indigo and the Mighty Sparrow’s Jane. An early birdsong performance of Mood Indigo had in fact inspired Bishop’s well-known painting of the same name which was first exhibited at I belong to the House of Music by the painter/musician in 2007.

The closing concert was the product of the academy’s annual five-week music vacation programme that includes (free) instruction in a growing variety of musical instruments and genres.

This year’s “Spirit of birdsong” awards went to music campers Josanne Borneo and Giovanni Patrick in the junior category and seniors Faith Clarke and Tyrell Babb.

This year’s music camp closing concert will not be easy to forget for them, or for anyone who helped fill the August 18 Queen’s Hall auditorium.

Categories: Entertainment News

Alpha brings breathtaking imagery

Lifestyle - Wed, 08/22/2018 - 10:40

Alpha is not your basic boy and his dog story. This time the dog is a wolf and the story takes place twenty-thousand years ago. This is marketed as a film about the origins of man’s best friend, but if you ask me, it’s an ad designed to guilt you into buying your kids a wolf. They’ll want one too after seeing Alpha. 

In fact, the filmmakers should have just called this movie “PUH-PEEEEEE!” Because judging by the audience’s oohing and aahing at my IMAX 3D screening, people were all too eager to project their own warm and fuzzy domesticated canine feelings onto a wild animal who would eat them without a second thought.

But let’s play the hand we’re dealt here. The boy, Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is first seen bison hunting with his tribe. He is the son of Tau (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson), the “alpha” of his people. Greatness is expected of Keda, yet he’s a sensitive lad who has a problem with killing the animals. “Life is for the strong!” his father lectures after Keda fails to finish off a wounded animal. “You must earn it!” During the hunt, which is the first of many well-staged and visually arresting set pieces, Keda’s hesitation allows him to be bested by his prey; the result sends him plummeting over a steep cliff.

As Keda falls, Alpha suddenly flashes back to a week before. We assume Keda’s fall is part of the climax, but it’s actually the catalyst that sets the story in motion. In a quiet moment during the flashback, Tau tells Keda about the alpha wolf, the animal who leads the pack and to whom the other wolves defer. We also learn some of the tribe’s rituals that will become important pieces of shorthand later. Director Albert Hughes and his editor Sandra Granovsky employ a nice flurry of quick cuts from the opening hunting sequence to bring us back to Keda’s seemingly fatal plunge.

The cliffside ledge where Keda lands is too far for Tau to reach, so he has no choice but to mourn his son and move on. Indeed, Keda’s situation seems hopeless—an attempt to climb in either direction means almost certain death—but screenwriter Daniele Sebastian Wiedenhaupt finds a way out that’s both gleefully unpredictable and absolutely preposterous. There are more scenes like this in Alpha, moments where faith and suspension of disbelief are the only things that will carry you through, but the pacing is swift enough to ward off too much contemplation before the next danger befalls our heroes.

Keda’s inability to kill works out well for the wolf in this story. While splinting the gruesome injury that resulted from his cliff adventure, Keda is hunted by wolves who find wounded prey especially tasty.
The alpha wolf of the pack is left
for dead after Keda injures it, and rather than act out of vengeance, he decides to nurse the wolf back to health. He names it Alpha. Slowly, the duo start to trust one another. Keda becomes more like an alpha wolf, and Alpha turns into a lupine Rin-Tin-Tin.

There’s a pleasant, old-fashioned feel to Alpha. It plays like one
of those Disney nature movies
with sharper edges, a bit more grime and a complete lack of the English language. That’s right,
Sony is hiding from you that this film is subtitled, which is not only shifty but insulting to subtitles.
The language Keda and his tribe speaks is interesting in that it occasionally doesn’t seem to match the translation. At one point, a character sounds truly impassioned and inspired, speaking for a long time. The result is three subtitled words. Still, credit is due to the filmmakers for staying true to a time before English would have been spoken.

The best feature of Alpha is
its imagery, which is absolutely stunning in IMAX. Hughes, his cinematographer Martin Gschlacht

and the visual effects team create a world that is as beautiful as it
is dangerous, often framing the characters in the center of a vast, almost endless landscape.

The water here is preternaturally blue, the sky is chock full of stars and the ground is unforgiving whether covered in desert sand or brutal ice. The film’s most intense scene shows Keda trapped under

a frozen lake, swimming furiously while Alpha tracks him from above. There’s a majesty to the images in this sequence that is breathtaking. This could play at museums forever once it leaves general release.

Smit-McPhee gives a good performance here, showing the evolution of his character without much dialogue. He has a genuine rapport with whatever it is playing Alpha. Is the wolf live, or is it Memorex, I mean CGI?

Kids over eight will get a kick out of this one, and so will their parents, because Alpha is a credible adventure movie with a slightly gooey undercurrent

of sentiment. It will play better for dog lovers than cat people. This is the story of a beta boy who learns to be an alpha wolf, and an alpha wolf

who becomes his subservient pet. It’s a charming story, to be sure. Unless you’re a wolf. (rogerebert.com)

• Ed note: Alpha is currently showing at local cinemas.

Categories: Entertainment News

Rid Yourself of Garlic & Onion Smell

Lifestyle - Wed, 08/22/2018 - 10:34

Two of the most common ingredients in a Trinbagonian kitchen are onion and garlic. We use them in nearly every savoury, local dish as well as in our marinades, pepper sauce...you name it. A pelau or curry could not even qualify as Trinidadian if one were to omit either—or both—of these ingredients. There is a down side to these pungent aromatics, though. They always leave their evidence behind by means of an odour, whether on our hands, on our breaths or in our homes. The solution to this can be approached in one of two ways: One can either settle for bland food for the rest of one’s life or, one can find a way to get rid of the odour. Luckily, I have suggestions for the latter, because let’s face it, any true-blooded Trinbagonian would happily choose a life of smelly hands and bad breath over the former.

Both onions and garlic contain sulphur. It’s the sulphur in these compounds that’s responsible for the strong odour that’s produced. The fact that most of these compounds are fat-soluble and therefore, absorbed into the skin compared to residing solely on the surface of the skin, makes it more difficult to remove the pungent odour by simply washing your hands or mouth—it takes a little more.

As a chef, I have cut onions and garlic more times than any one person should have to, and have obviously run into the issue of lingering smells. Over time in this industry, one learns ways and means of finding solutions. The following is a guide to getting rid of onion and garlic smells on your hands, breath and in your home.

As aforementioned, onion and garlic smells are especially difficult to remove because sulphur compounds responsible for the odour penetrate the skin. It is therefore necessary to chemically combat these compounds in order to successfully rid yourself of their lasting odours. The best way I have found to completely remove the smell is to employ a few combined methods in a specific order.

Firstly, make a scrub with one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of hand soap. Gently scrub hands, between fingers and underneath fingernails with the scrub and rinse thoroughly. Use a nail brush to rub the scrub into the skin and to clean under fingernails properly. Next (this is going to sound weird), rub your hands with a stainless steel spoon while rinsing under cold water for a full minute.

The stainless steel reacts with the sulphur compounds, changing their chemical structure to that of a compound without an offensive odour.

It basically neutralises the sulphur molecules. Lastly, in the event there is still any trace of pungency, rinse hands with a mild acid such as vinegar or lemon juice, ensuring that between fingers and under fingernails are targeted as well. You may also apply the acid to a cloth and rub into your hands. Allow the acid to air dry and rinse with cold water.

Onion and garlic breath can potentially last for days, making close-up conversations an unpleasant experience to the one on the receiving end of the nostril assault.

Some types of toothpaste have even proven ineffective against

them. Fortunately, there are foods you can eat that have the ability to neutralise these odours.

These foods include kiwi, fresh parsley and mint, raw mushrooms and apples, eggplant, lemon juice or green tea, just to name a few. I would recommend consuming any of these after eating a dish with onions or garlic and then brushing your teeth with a toothpaste that contains baking soda.

Let’s backtrack to the topic of onions and garlic in Trinbagonian cuisine. They make our food taste amazing, but don’t leave our homes smelling so great after a day or two.

There are a few ways to combat this:

1 Combine equal parts vinegar and water and simmer in a saucepan over medium heat for at least an hour.

2 Add the peels of lemons, limes, oranges or any other citrus you like into a saucepan with water and simmer for at least an hour. You can also add cinnamon or any other aromatic spices.

3 Combine one quarter cup of baking soda and two cups of water in a spray bottle and spray around the house liberally, especially in the kitchen.

4 Leave small bowls of vinegar around the house overnight.

As the saying goes: “Prevention is better than cure,” and it stands true for this as well. So with regards to preventing smells from hands, dampen your hands with vinegar before cutting them or, more practically, use non-porous gloves. At home, open windows and doors to ensure the house is well-aerated

before cooking onions, garlic or anything else with strong odours to prevent them from settling into your fabrics and furniture. And well, for the bad onion and garlic breath, I’ll opt for “cure.”

Categories: Entertainment News

Camp creates the total holistic human being

Lifestyle - Wed, 08/22/2018 - 10:16

Artistic company Teatro Journee’s summer creative camp iCaribbean 2018, themed The Legacy, explored the legacy contained in the history of T&T and the Caribbean. Camp director Tafar Chia Lewis said the end of camp production was conceptualised and performed by the children.
The performance incorporated drums, maracas, spoken word, dance and music. It told the story of best friends: soca singer and baker Paul and poet and skateboarder Louise. The duo decided to combine their skills and create a soca song titled iCaribbean, with which Paul entered the International Soca Monarch Competition. After winning the competition, they travel to the islands of Cuba and Haiti to perform the song.
While in each island, the duo was taught a song and dance belonging to the island before teaching their song to their audiences, played by the children, in return. Lewis said the dances the children were taught included “stick fighting, Karrey, bongo, mambo and saraca, which is a mixture of Mandingo and Ibo dances. Shanice John is the dance tutor.
“Mikhel Carter, the music coordinator/ tutor, taught them Guantanamera as the Cuban song and Chanel Glasgow taught them the Haitian song which is called Wongola.”
The duo then went to Carifesta, which was being held in Trinidad where the dances and songs were performed again. The audience was encouraged to sing along with the iCaribbean chorus, iCaribbean lewwe go, iCaribbean set up the show, iCaribbean lewwe see, iCaribbean Legacy.
Lewis said: “We thought it was necessary to talk about legacy because when I asked in one of our previous camps about other countries that we know about, few of us know anything more besides what you find out about Trinidad. Even when we ask about Haiti, they will say Haiti is poor, they’re poverty-stricken, Cuba has no wi-fi, they will have all these funny answers and so we thought, especially how we’re partnered with the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, and we were talking about Carifesta, which is done in these three countries and then it’s going to be in Trinidad again next year, we thought we would use Carifesta as the link to get us started in talking about these countries, the history and their legacy. We also think it’s necessary for children to know their legacy as Caribbean people.”
Lewis added that the children were taught that they have the power to create their own narratives during the camp, “that’s what it was about, especially with the crime rate going on in T&T and all these things, children have opinions about these things. 

Students of Teatro Journee go through their paces during their final performance.

“They feel the pain of a society that is in need of change and so we gave them the opportunity to say the things they would like to create or the things they would like to do about the obstacles we’re having as a country, and we empower them to know that they could create their own narratives through being aware of where they came from in order to know where exactly they are going and what they can do about and for their future.”
Lewis said the camp was an empowering one for both the children and the teachers. “I don’t know if it’s because we chose to talk about these countries, Haiti, Cuba, T&T, and their history, their encounters with resistance. We had issues with registration because many people are sending their children to lessons camps instead. 
“I think the onus is on us, the creatives, the artistes, to educate the society and parents continuously about the necessity that the arts have, the part that it plays in the development of a holistic human being.”

Categories: Entertainment News

Youth Philharmonic brings big screen Marvel movies to Queen’s Hall

Lifestyle - Wed, 08/22/2018 - 10:10

Get ready for an epic extraordinary musical journey in beauty and adventure as the T&T Youth Philharmonic (TTYP) features and performs the music of famous British composers Handel, Purcell, Elgar, Holst, Delius, Binge, and some of the greatest movie music from Marvel and John Williams, including Black Panther, Captain America, Jurassic Park, Wonder Woman, Schindler’s List and many more.
The concerts, Classics Rule-Movies Rock-the Sequel!, come to Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, next Saturday  and Sunday, at 7.30 pm and 5.30 pm, respectively.
TTYP is the only youth symphony orchestra in T&T, and the largest in the English speaking Caribbean. Its premier music education programme caters for students ages four-29. 
The concerts will be the culmination of a very successful one week Workshop in Instrumental Technique for Orchestral Players, sponsored by Atlantic, and TTYP’s 14th annual three-week 90 contact hours music camp, conducted by a team of Venezuelan tutors of the Fundacion Musical Simon Bolivar (FMSB), formerly FESNOJIV/El Systema of Venezuela, led by Hemath Jahoor, and TTYP music director Kenneth Listhrop.
TTYP’s school and community programmes continue to embrace students from the University School, St George’s College, Barataria, the Bishop Anstey and Trinity College East High Schools (BATCE), as well as children and youth from various regions throughout T&T. Additionally, TTYP continues to recognise and applaud the kind generosity of the corporate community namely Atlantic and the National Gas Company.
Parents, movie goers, and lovers of music, you can’t afford to miss this opportunity of a lifetime to enjoy T&T’s best in symphonic music and support our youth as TTYP builds an orchestral tradition.
Tickets, costing $150 for adults, and $100 for children under 12, are available daily at Bishop Anstey and Trinity East High School, College Avenue, Trincity, at 9 am – 4.30 pm, until Thursday; at Queen’s Hall Box Office daily, Monday-Saturday, at noon to 6 pm; or, from orchestra members and parents. Proceeds in aid of TTYP’s property fund.

Categories: Entertainment News

Roasted Garlic: Your new, favourite ingredient

Lifestyle - Wed, 08/22/2018 - 10:08

The beauty of roasted garlic is unknown to many. Everyone’s favourite aromatic becomes sweet, caramelised and intensely flavoured when roasted to golden-brown-edged perfection. The sharpness of the garlic is mellowed out to create a completely different version of the pungent, raw garlic that you’re accustomed to. And the best part? Roasting garlic is a lot easier than it sounds. 

Peeling dozens of cloves isn’t required for the intense, savouriness we keep boasting about. All you have to do is cut a head of garlic horizontally, drizzle each face with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast in a baking sheet or pan at 400°F for 30 to 40 minutes. The garlic cloves become so tender that all you have to do is squeeze the head for the cloves to pop out. So, beside snacking on the addictive, garlicky cloves, what else can you do with roasted garlic? Here are our favourite ways to use this magical ingredient.


Smear the cloves over a piece of crusty, toasted bread. That in itself is a delicious snack. If you’re feeling indulgent, or feel like jazzing up your grilled cheese, then substitute butter for the roasted garlic cloves. You’ll be left with a slightly healthier but way more flavourful grilled cheese.

Mashed Potatoes

Instead of adding raw garlic—or nothing at all—try adding your roasted garlic to mashed potatoes. It melts right into the mash but permeates the entire dish with a slightly sweet and nutty flavour. Bonus points? The garlic usually has leftover infused oil after roasting. Add this to your mash for even more ridiculous garlicky flavour.


Blend chickpeas, tahini, olive oil and roasted garlic in your food processor or blender for an amped-up hummus. Add the leftover roasted garlic oil to top the hummus instead of traditional extra virgin olive oil and serve as a dip with pita chips and crisp vegetables. You can also use it as a spread on sandwiches or wraps.  

Mix your roasted garlic with butter and herbs to create a garlic-herb butter. Use this to rub all over your chicken before roasting (secret trick: push the butter under the chicken’s skin for more flavour) or to sautée your vegetables with. Unlike raw, pungent garlic, the subtlety of the roasted garlic prevents the notorious garlic breath, making this ingredient perfect for date night.

Categories: Entertainment News

Diego Martin students embrace bpTT Math camp

Lifestyle - Tue, 08/21/2018 - 00:46

Jaden Jarvis, 14, a student of St Mary’s College (CIC) student, was so impressed with the benefits of the bpTT Young Adult Mathematics Experience in 2017, that he had no hesitation signing up for the 2018 edition. In fact, he is already looking forward to next year.

“I was a bit reluctant to take part in the camp last year but it turned out to be fantastic,” said Jarvis, who will enter Form 4 when the new academic year starts in September. It helped in making me like the subject more that I did at the time. Our tutor used different methods to teach us in a really fun way. I knew I was going to come back this year and I have no regrets. I have also made new friends in the bargain. As long as I am accepted I intend to do it all over again next year,

The CIC student was among 40 youths who proudly accepted their certificates of achievement at a graduation ceremony held at the Church of the Nativity, Diego Martin, last week. The Mathematics experience has been sponsored for the past eight years by energy company bpTT.

Facilitated by training agency Cross & Associates, the courses are being held in six locations, Port-of-Spain (Civilian Conservation Corps), Diego Martin, the Youth Training Centre (YTC), Mayaro, Tobago and Belmont. Tutor for the Diego Martin training session was Hilary Roberts.

It was Amhara Wong’s first stint at the camp but her experience was also positive. Said the 15-year-old, who will enter Form 4 at Holy Name Convent in September: “I learned about the camp from my cousin and decided to take part. The manner in which the tutor went about explaining the subject made me enjoy it more than I did before. I have a better understanding of mathematics and I now realise that it affects almost everything we do in life. When I return to school next month I will have more confidence to take it to examination level later on in my studies.”

The company’s community sustainability and stakeholder relations adviser Joel Primus told the young men and women that the energy company decided to invest in their future because it believed that the opportunity to learn and become worthwhile citizens was a fundamental right. He appealed to them to appreciate the importance of the contribution bpTT was making in helping them prepare for the future since other youths were not so fortunate to get the opportunity.

“You may want to sit mathematics at CXC Level in Form 4 and get a head-start in your examinations. It is not too early to start the process of planning your future because an early start can eliminate future problems. What you do with your life now will determine the Trinidad and Tobago you will inherit,” Primus advised the graduates.

Andrew Cross, principal consultant, Cross & Associates, told the students that the intervention by bpTT was an avenue to prepare them for future leadership roles through excelling in their educational pursuits. “Without companies like bpTT to invest in your future in initiatives like this, T&T will be poorer in its human resource capital. Our hope is that after completing this training, you will demonstrate a different and positive approach to mathematics and your overall studies from now on,” Cross urged the graduates.

Categories: Entertainment News


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