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SI Couva

Soroptimist International Couva was chartered on January 22, 2022, during one of the most challenging times facing the global community – the Covid-19 pandemic. As a club we have had to do things “differently” and this has had a profound effect on the ethos of our club. We see ourselves as charting a new course that requires a change in mindset for the changing times. We hope to make a positive impact in our community through transformative projects as we emerge from a post-Covid-19 world. Our focus is therefore to bring hope and teach resilience to the girls and young women in our community.

 

A bit about Couva.

Couva is an urban town in west-central Trinidad, south of Port of Spain and Chaguanas and north of San Fernando. It covers just about 68 square kilometers and includes the Point Lisas Industrial Estate and the Port of Point Lisas. It was also the site of a large sugar factory.

The Pt Lisas Industrial Estate

Industries located there include numerous ammonia plants and methanol plants, melamine manufacturing plants, a urea manufacturing plant; a natural gas to liquids processing facility and it is the site of two power stations and a large reverse osmosis water desalination plant.

UTT Aviation Campus

Also situated in the Couva area is the University of Trinidad & Tobago’s Aviation Campus, a premier facility for industry-relevant aviation training using state-of-the-art learning spaces and technology.

We have 3 secondary and 4 primary schools. There are also businesses of all types served by the Energy Chamber and the Point Lisas Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Couva is also the site of the National Cricket Centre and the National Aquatic Centre.

As in all communities there are women and girls who are disadvantaged and who will benefit from the presence of SI Couva . We have already started to serve them.

 

Recent Activities:

Since being formed in March 2021 we have been able to complete the following projects:

1. Mother’s Day Breakfast Box Fundraiser

2. Covid-19 Relief Hamper Drive

3. Virtual Vacation Camp – “Girl Pioneers: Create, Envision, Lead!”

4. Tech for Girls Workshop (App development) – in collaboration with RSC (Restore a Sense of I can) another NGO

5. Seafood Boil Fundraiser

6. Breast Cancer Awareness Project – Providing information and Q&A segments

7. Virtual Christmas Market Project – supporting and promoting our local female artisans

 

Planning Session!

On a glorious sunny afternoon in June, we met up at Rudranth Capildeo Learning Resource Centre for a Planning Session!

Great Fun!  Great Productivity!

 

Our Potential Member Meet-Up!

It was such a fabulous gathering at Happy Melon Bistro in Freeport on Sunday, May 22nd, 2022.
We truly enjoyed getting to meet these wonderful women!

 

International Women’s Day 2022

In commemoration of International Women’s Day 2022, each of the seven Soroptimist International clubs of Trinidad and Tobago produced a video addressing:

A Mother’s work is REAL. Mothering through the Pandemic.

Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias can’t exist isn’t enough.

#BreakTheBias #IWD2022

Sharing some moments (and delicious pics) from our 2022 Valentine’s Day Fundraiser

Breast Cancer Awareness project:

For Breast Cancer Awareness month we ran a three part series that addressed some not commonly discussed issues when faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer. These took the form of three 15-minute video interviews that were shared on social media. The dynamic speakers included Dr. Amrit Rambhajan who spoke on medical matters, Ms. Ria Murray-Payne an insurance agent, advised on the need for proper financial planning and Ms. Ahhalia Ramdass, a clinical psychologist and member of SI Anaparima who gave guidance on the emotional journey from diagnosis to recovery.

 

Interview on Radio with Alicia:

We were also invited to be on a radio segment called ‘highlights’ on Next 99.1 FM with host Arianne Mitchell. Our President Alicia got the opportunity to highlight our club and the difference we are making in society.

 

Fundraising:

Two fundraisers provided the finances to fund our projects. Our breakfast boxes were outsourced from a provider who delivered a scrumptious selection of breakfast goodies for Mother’s Day. A total lockdown just prior to Mother’s Day did not prevent us from going through with our plans and from all reports everyone was pleased.

Our second fundraiser was an in-house job with our member Marcia providing a delicious Seafood Boil for over 100 patrons.

 

Tech 4 Girls Workshop:

We collaborated with ‘Restore a Sense of I Can’ and presented a mobile app development workshop to inspire young women and girl to explore a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math through educational workshops.

 

Covid-19 Relief Hamper Drive:

The pandemic provided the backdrop for our first PA project – a hamper drive to assist students of two secondary schools in the area. We used social media and word of mouth to contact relatives, friends and supporters to donate items. Meeting to put together the hampers was an opportunity for many of us to meet in person for the first time.

Delivery of the hampers to the schools also benefitted our club as two members of staff became interested in the organisation and immediately joined us!

 

Vacation Camp:

Our week-long virtual vacation camp targeted girls in the 13 to 17 age group and was aptly themed ‘Girl Pioneers – Create, Envision, Lead’.  We enjoyed five half-days with 43 very bright young ladies from the Couva area. Topics addressed included current issues facing young women, with specific focus on self-care and self-esteem, entrepreneurship through art, social and work etiquette, financial tips for teenagers and your digital presence. These issues are not addressed in the school curriculum and are critical in creating strong women leaders. Our presenters were all impressed by the degree of engagement and eagerness of the participants considering how ‘zoomed- out’ young people are after over a year of online schooling.

 

Plans for the future
We plan to continue to support women and girls in the community in line with the UN’s SDGs:

● Continuing Covid-19 relief programme

● Spotlight on female entrepreneurs and female owned business in Couva & environs

● Initiative to empower girls and women in the community – Training & Mentoring to provide opportunities for building an entrepreneurial mindset in young girls and women

● Other initiatives including programmes focused on self-care and personal development

 

To join our membership, please message us via any of our social media at:

• E-mail: sicouva@gmail.com
• Instagram: @sicouva
• Facebook: The Soroptimist International Club of Couva

OR contact one of our members at:
• Natasha Hernandez – 735-9708
• Stacy Mohamed – 751-3060

 

Interested in becoming a member of SI Couva?
Click on the following link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSch449EBKa_JapbU25DXU5KmQrPbYizgf9qGBf8j5k1dIjkNQ/viewform?usp=sf_link