Attorney Kevin Ratiram, who launched the Rapid Fire Kidz Foundation in 2012 to help vulnerable youth, says it has been an uplifting, emotional journey.
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Three winners named for Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence
The Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence has announced its three laureates for 2014. In the category of Arts and Letters Prof Liam Teague was awarded, for Public & Civic Contributions, Ms Karen de Souza of Guyana and Science & Technology was given to Dr Richard Robertson of St Vincent and The Grenadines. Chairman of the Eminent Person’s Panel Michael Mansoor announced the names of the winners during a ceremony at Ansa McAL’s head office, Tatil Building, Maraval Road, Port-of-Spain.
The Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence (ANSCAFE) is the English-speaking Caribbean’s leading recognition programme in Arts, Sciences, and Public and Civic Work. The Ansa McAL Foundation launched this awards programme in October 2005.
Up to 2010, the awards were made biennially but in 2011 the Caribbean Awards for Excellence became an annual event. Since 2006, when the first laureates were named, several sets of laureates have been presented with prizes: in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and annually thereafter in ceremonies in Port-of-Spain.
The goal of the Ansa Caribbean Awards for Excellence is to recognise significant Caribbean achievement, to encourage and to support the pursuit of excellence by Caribbean people, for the benefit of the region. The Ansa McAL Foundation is convinced that talent needs to be sought out, brought to light and encouraged. It is in this context that these awards were conceived.
This is the first such recognition programme of its kind. It is privately funded, free of political and other influence, and offers tangible, significant benefit to the laureates. It is the most noteworthy philanthropic initiative by a Caribbean organisation in recent times.
• Liam Teague, a Trinidadian, is an accomplished pan musician.
• He is a professor of music at the Northern Illinois University, and performs throughout the world, including T&T, where he returns to arrange for Panorama.
• From an early age, Teague was recognised as a prodigy, and won several pan competitions in T&T.
• He was a scholarship student at Northern Illinois University (NIU), where he was awarded a BM and a MM in performance, and where he was a research scholar from 2001-2004.
• He is an associate professor at Northern Illinois University and is head of its steelband studies department.
KAREN DE SOUZA
• Karen de Souza is a women’s and children’s rights activist from Guyana.
• She is the co-founder of Red Thread, an advocacy organisation which provides service and support, education, and advocacy for victims of rape and domestic and other forms of violence and for the lowest-waged sectors of women.
• De Souza and Red Thread also do research and have contributed to the drafting of laws and training for judicial officers to support protection of women and children and victims of human trafficking.
• They also participate in national, international and regional agency programmes on areas of interest, as well as taking education directly to the people.
• Since co-founding Red Thread in 1986, de Souza has worked tirelessly for the organisation in an entirely voluntary capacity.
• Her leadership has enabled the provision of services like face-to-face counselling in a drop-in centre for women and children and survivors of rape and abuse, and enabled the rescue of victims of domestic violence.
• The organisation participates in court proceedings, legislative initiatives and international conferences on women’s and children’s welfare.
DR RICHARD ROBERTSON
• Dr Richard Robertson, director of UWI’s Seismic Research Centre at St Augustine, is a geologist and vulcanologist whose work has been ground-breaking in the study of volcanoes and the geology of the region.
• A world expert, he is active in public education on the issue and has published academic books, and numerous refereed articles and book chapters.
• Robertson’s interest in volcanology was inspired by his personal experience in 1979, when he and his family woke to the eruption of the Soufriere volcano, which displaced thousands of Vincentians.
• He subsequently studied geology at UWI, volcanology at the University of Leeds in the UK (MPhil) and completed his Ph D in geology at Mona, Jamaica.
• His PhD thesis (The Volcanic Geology of pre-Soufriere Rocks in St Vincent) and his volcanic hazards atlas are benchmarks in volcanology in the eastern Caribbean.