It was no surprise that Ife Alleyne was crowned the winner of the 2014 National Calypso Queen competition which took place on January 19 at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.
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MIPED hosts Christmas treat for children
The halls of the Mayaro Resource Centre echoed with the excitement and laughter of hundreds of children on December 21 as the Mayaro Initiative for Private Enterprise Development (MIPED) hosted a Christmas treat for the families of its clients.
Seven-year-old Shesslon Mansook of St Ann’s Village in Mayaro could barely contain his excitement, “This was so much fun with the bouncy castle, face painting, balloon animals, snacks and especially the gifts from Santa. I had a lot of fun with my friends and family and I want to say thanks to them for this wonderful day. It was the best treat ever,” he said in a release.
Started by BP T&T in 2002 with a seed fund of $7 million, the aim of MIPED is to facilitate and expand the development of small business entrepreneurs and contribute to the development of the Mayaro community by providing a combination of financial and technical support to interested people.
Relating the success of the micro-finance organisation was Giselle Thompson, vice-president, Communications and External Affairs, bpTT, “As of November of this year, MIPED has lent over $55.5 million through 2,688 loans that seen the establishment of businesses and the creation of over 2,000 permanent and 4,000 temporary jobs. This organisation is definitely fulfilling its vision to develop Mayaro and environs into a model community by creating business opportunities and employment that will build self esteem and improve the quality of life for residents.”
MIPED is the first micro-finance lending organisation sponsored by a private non-financial company in T&T. Led by chairman, Asraph Ali, it has become an integral part of the economic and social landscape of Mayaro and environs.
Ali was enthusiastic about the event, “People may look at our impressive numbers, but for us, the true measure of accomplishment is in the improved quality of life for our clients. Today was about joining with them and celebrating this season in the best way possible, by brining joy to the hearts of children. The staff worked especially hard in making this a success and the happy faces of everyone who celebrated with us was a just reward and testament to our bond as the MIPED family.”
The organisation has facilitated loans to people from communities across the south eastern region including Rio Claro, Manzanilla, Kernahan, Ortoire and Guayaguayare. It is specifically targeted toward facilitating individuals who do not meet the average lending criteria for a commercial bank.
Taryn Wadalley, of Union Village, brought her two and four year-old boys, Kayden and Kaylon, to enjoy the festive occasion, “Through MIPED’s help I was able to expand my mini-mart and arcade and therefore provide a better standard of living for my family. They helped me when no one else would and treated me with patience, respect and genuine caring. This Christmas treat was great fun for my kids and shows that MIPED is about giving back. I wish them all the best as they continue their good work of improving Mayaro by empowering us to achieve our dreams.”
MIPED manager, Rachael Hosein, shared a message of hope, “MIPED success comes with the success of all our clients and each and every one of them is important to us. Events like our Family Day and this Christmas treat give us the chance to demonstrate than sentiment. Sharing today with kids especially was a shining light for us in this festive season, and we hope that the New Year brings with it the richest blessings of happiness and prosperity. That is something MIPED can definitely help to achieve.”