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SI Port of Spain

Soroptimist International of Port of Spain was founded in 1959 and is the founder Club of Soroptimist Clubs in the Commonwealth Caribbean. Soroptimist International of Port of Spain is a member of Soroptimist International which is a “worldwide organization for women in management and professions, working through service projects to advance human rights and the status of women.”

It is also the founder Club of Soroptimist Clubs in the English – Speaking Caribbean.

Soroptimist International Port of Spain headquarters is located at:
15 Nepaul Street, St. James, Port of Spain.

 

Projects included:

SI Centenary Tree planting
• International Women’s Day video production
Intergenerational Women’s Leadership Program
Annual Computer Literacy programme in conjunction with Microsoft
• “Crescendo” Music Therapy programme for Cyril Ross children
• Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy Training for single women from the Beetham Estate
• Annual World Peace Day “Spoken Word” programme for primary schools in Port of Spain area in conjunction with Roots Foundation – Mtima Solwazi
Audrey Jeffers challenge project for schools
4 part series video discussion on Self Defense for Women

 

Soroptimist International of Port of Spain
presents their Club Executive 2022-2023

Following the Annual General Meeting on the 8th June, 2022, Soroptimist International of Port of Spain presents their new Club Executive for 2022-2023.

We congratulate the Executive members and look forward to a successful year in fulfilling the Soroptimist mission of transforming the lives of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities.

 

Celebrating the outstanding legacy of Justice Monica Barnes SC

We have lost another distinguished Soroptimist,
Justice Monica Barnes SC who passed away on the
10th June, 2022.

She was a dedicated and longstanding Soroptimist member of SI Port of Spain Club and the first President of the former SI St. Augustine Club when it was chartered in 1985. Last year she was bestowed with “Honorary Membership” of the Soroptimist International National Association of Trinidad and Tobago for her invaluable contribution to Soroptimism.

The National Theatre Arts Company of which Justice Monica Barnes’s sister, Belinda, is the artistic director gave the following tribute:-

“Justice Monica Barnes, SC, blazed a trail, hallmarking an outstanding legal career with stellar milestones.”

“An alumna of Bishop Anstey, Justice Monica Barnes was instrumental in the development and chartering of Soroptimist International St. Augustine, holding the position of charter President in 1985.

“Before becoming a sitting judge, Justice Monica Barnes, with the Soroptimist International, initiated the Golden Grove Women’s Prison project, preparing and empowering female prisoners for productive lives, on their release.”

One of her “most compassionate initiatives,” the prison’s Mother’s Day program, allowed children of inmates to visit on Mother’s Day – an initiative that became the catalyst for the Father’s Day program.

She brought her grace, compassion, generosity and intelligence to bear in all areas of her life, profoundly elevating the lives of those she touched, both professionally and personally.

Justice Monica Barnes was a former chairman of the Tax Appeal Board and a deputy chairman of the Integrity Commission.

She was also chief parliamentary counsel and had been a member of the Law Reform Commission, the Law Revision Commission, the Constitution Commission and the Caricom Company Law Task Force.

Her honourable legacy lives on and will never be forgotten.”

(extracted from the World News)

We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and sister Soroptimists. May she rest in peace.

 

Induction of new members

Congratulations to the new members of Soroptimist International, Port of Spain who were inducted on Saturday, June 4th, 2022.

From left to right: Gayatri Dass (Attorney-at-Law), Marcia Hope (Communications Specialist), and Victoria Forgenie (Attorney-at-Law).

We are so proud to have you on board.

 

Tea and Talk

Soroptimist International Port of Spain members thoroughly enjoyed a lovely afternoon of “Tea and Talk”. A sumptuous tea, great camaraderie and friendship were shared by all. This is the first time members met in a physical place since the beginning of the pandemic. It felt really good to see some of our sister Soroptimists whom we would have only met virtually. We all shared a bit about ourselves and our careers and found out some interesting hobbies which included baking brownies, travelling, steelpan music, playing the piano, singing, artwork to name a few.

 

Soroptimist International Port of Spain participates at NCRHA’s Health Fair

Soroptimist International, Port of Spain participated at the recently held North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) Health Fair at the Women’s Hospital, Mount Hope on Saturday 7th May, 2022. This was one of the initiatives in our HIV/Aids Anti Stigma rollout campaign. The Chairman of the NCRHA, Mr. Steve De Las was very pleased and commended Soroptimist International, Port of Spain for participating at the Health Fair.

Several women showed interest in our booth and received information and the various brochures on display.

We acknowledge with gratitude Dr. Alisha Wallace’s coordination and assistance in making the arrangements for our participation and airing of our HIV/Aids Anti Stigma videos.

As we continue with the rollout strategies in our education drive to raise awareness and to eliminate HIV/Aids stigmatization and discrimination, we intend to incorporate other Health Fairs, Health Centers and Educational institutions.

 

Menu 1: 

1 Chicken dish (bbq/jerk/rotisserie) plus
2 side orders (macaroni salad, green salad, rice, peas, fries, buttered cassava)

For orders of 10 or more, selection of any 2 side orders
Orders are to be emailed – Advance notice of at least 2 hours would be required

Menu 2:

Pre-packaged meal (any meat with 2 side orders)
For orders less than 10, prepacked meal inclusive of 2 side orders “On the go” collection

Fish is also an option. Upon collection an additional $7.00 would be required.

Thank You For Your Support!

 

The Weapon of Education:
A Global Context

by Gayatri Dass (member of SI Port of Spain)

Gayatri is very passionate on the subject of Education and her very informative and interesting article was published in the Express newspaper on the 21st March, 2022 and in the Trinidad Guardian on the 25th March, 2022

See link hereunder to read the full article.

https://trinidadexpress.com/opinion/columnists/the-weapon-of-education-a-global-context/article_375f0ac6-a974-11ec-b9de-0b7025d19d6f.html

 

Celebrating the Life of A Distinguished Educator, Social Worker and Sister Soroptimist

Dr. Nesta Patrick passed away on the 11th March, 2022 at the age of 99 years just 5 months shy of her 100th birthday.

She was a dedicated and longstanding Soroptimist member attached to the former SI St. Augustine Club. Last year she was bestowed with Honorary Membership of the Soroptimist International National Association of Trinidad and Tobago for her invaluable contribution to Soroptimism.

“Born in 1922, she lived through World War II and the polio epidemic of the 1950s and witnessing those world-transforming events, inspired her to the social work and activism that became her lifelong pursuit.

She was the first recipient of the CARICOM Triennial Award for Women and accepted the Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) conferred on her by the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine in 2001. This marked another milestone in the accomplished life of Ms. Patrick, acclaimed women’s rights activist, social worker and advocate for the recognition of the mentally challenged. To be singled out as the first Caribbean woman to be honoured for outstanding contribution to the region is a testimony to her remarkable sphere of influence and impact on the lives of women and children throughout the Caribbean.

Her participation in the first World Conference on Women held in Mexico in 1975 provided the stimulus for a life dedicated to public service and advancing the social and economic development of women. Working for and with the mentally challenged was an immense source of satisfaction and joy for her, translating into an unprecedented commitment to serving their interest and maintaining their placement in the public and regional agenda. She served as President of the Caribbean Mental Retardation Association. The Caribbean Women’s Association (CARIWA) owes its existence to the pioneering work of Nesta Patrick and her fellow co-founders.

Retirement was no deterrent to her loyalty and dedication to the condition of women and children. She contributed her time and experience at the Rape Crisis Centre in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and working with youth. She was also the oldest member of the T&T Association for the hearing impaired.

Nesta Patrick was a true model of excellence and inspiration for all Caribbean women. Her outstanding career and lifetime achievements merited several honours and awards including the Government of Trinidad and Tobago National Award Public Service Medal of Merit for Community Service bestowed on her in 1979; the Caribbean Award for Mental Retardation in 1978 and the Award for Community Service by the Business and Professional Women’s Club in 1992.
(extracted from CARICOM- A community for All)

We extend condolences to her family and friends. May she rest in peace.

 

Audrey Jeffers Exhibition at the Rotunda, Parliament Building

SI Port of Spain’s Audrey Jeffers exhibition from their 60th Anniversary celebrations is currently on exhibition at The Rotunda Gallery, Red House, Parliament Building, St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain

Mondays – Thursdays either between 10am-12pm or 2pm-3:30pm.

To view, kindly call 701 6133 a day in advance to advise when you would like to visit. ID and proof of vaccination would be required.

The exhibition ends on the 31st March, 2022

Recent Activities:

 

Gayatri Dass is an Attorney -at-Law and a member of SI Port of Spain. For International Women’s Day she has written a very insightful piece entitled:-

 

“EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN”

“International Women’s Day is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political (UN). Women and girls can truly achieve regardless of barriers when they are empowered.

Empowerment means a society that enables the equal access of women and girls to education not simply as a box ticking exercise but because it is a fundamental human right. As Nelson Mandela posited, ” education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” The value of education in enabling young women to climb the social ladder and attaining financial independence cannot be understated. It is only through the silent power of unhindered access to education can women and girls feel truly empowered to think and act autonomously.”

Gayatri Dass

 

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

 

Let’s Stop HIV Together

Launch today of the 4 HIV Anti Stigma Videos entitled “Let’s Stop HIV Together” This was a collaborative effort of SI Port of Spain and the National AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC) to raise awareness of and eradicate the stigmatization of HIV/AIDS. The event was strategically planned for Zero Discrimination Day and took place at the Media Conference Room at the Office of the Prime Minister.

(Front L-R) Ms. Heather Rodney – Chair, National AIDS Coordinating Committee; Mr. Ian Ramdahin – Permanent Secretary (Ag.), National AIDS Coordinating Committee Secretariat; Ms. Jacinta Bailey-Sobers – Permanent Secretary, Gender and Child Affairs; Ms. Yolanda Simon – Vice Chair, National AIDS Coordinating Committee,

(Back L-R) Dr. Ayanna Sebro – Technical Director, National AIDS Coordinating Committee Secretariat with representatives of Soroptimist International of Port of Spain Ms. Carolyn James – Communications Officer; Ms. Patricia Adams – Programme Action Officer and Ms. Donna Scoon-Moses – Member.

 

Symbolic collaboration of SI Port of Spain and National AIDS Coordinating Committee at the launch of the 4 HIV Anti Stigma Videos on Zero Discrimination Day.

(L-R): Ms. Heather Rodney, Chair of the National AIDS Coordinating Committee and Ms. Patricia Adams, Programme Action Officer, Soroptimist International, Port of Spain

Just A Drink

SI POS in collaboration with the National AIDS Coordinating Committee commissioned 4 series of the HIV Anti Stigma Videos collectively titled “Let’s Stop HIV Together” which are relevant to the various forms of HIV/AIDS stigma.

Over the next 4 days we will be featuring one of each of the 4 videos

This video is entitled “JUST A DRINK”

Do join us in our drive to raise awareness and remove HIV/AIDS stigmatization. #BreakTheBias

#JustADrink #ZeroDiscrimination #EndAIDSBy2030TT

Just A Hug

Second of the four  HIV/AIDS Anti Stigma videos.

HIV/AIDS cannot be passed on from a hug.

Join us in our drive to raise awareness and remove HIV/AIDS stigmatization.  #BreakTheBias

#JustAHug #ZeroDiscrimination #EndAIDSBy2030TT

Just A Ticket

Third of 4 HIV/AIDS Anti Stigma Videos titled “JUST A TICKET”

HIV/AIDS cannot be passed on through sharing food, drinks or cooking utensils, even if the person preparing your food is living with HIV/AIDS. So go ahead, buy that barbeque ticket.

Join us in our drive to raise awareness and remove HIV/AIDS stigmatization. #Break the Bias

#JustATicket #ZeroDiscrimination #EndAIDSBy2030TT

Just A Test

SI Port of Spain in collaboration with NACC present the 4th of the HIV/AIDS Anti Stigma Videos titled “JUST A TEST”

Never be ashamed to get tested for HIV/AIDS. Getting tested is healthy, normal and part of being a responsible individual.

Join us in our drive to raise awareness and remove HIV/AIDS stigmatization. #BreakThe Bias

#JustATest #ZeroDiscrimination #EndAIDSBy2030TT

 

63 Years of Service

Today marks the 63rd Anniversary of Soroptimist International of Port of Spain. The club was chartered on the 16th January 1959 and was the first in the English-speaking Caribbean.

This club is known for its rich history and indomitable pioneers whose legacy of dedicated service will always remain with us.

Hereunder we present highlights of the year in review.

Team members of SI Port of Spain

Here’s to our hardworking and dedicated team members and prospects of SI Port of Spain on the 63rd Anniversary of the club.

Christmas hampers for the Gordon Home

SI Port of Spain members brought Christmas cheer to the Residents and the hard working Staff of the Gordon Home, Marli Street who were all pleasantly surprised and very appreciative of the lovely hampers received.

A “Covid comfort, a listening ear” initiative last year by members of SI Port of Spain with the Residents of the Gordon Home was well received and also greatly appreciated.

SIPOS representation at “Ours to Honour” Exhibition

Pat Adams, Programme Action Officer, represented SI Port Of Spain at the Women’s Institute for Alternative Development’s (WINAD) exhibition at the Rotunda, Parliament Building, which featured 16 women’s organisations. It was launched in observance of the 16 days of activism against violence of women and girls.

The Exhibition is titled, “Ours to Honour” and promises to be a foundation stone for enriching the country’s historical records as it focuses on pioneering and celebrating current and new criteria for leadership

The exhibition runs until December 10th.

SIPOS’s Hosting of Friendship Day

SIPOS Members thoroughly enjoyed hosting of the 2021 Soroptimist International Friendship Day- “Aloha”.. A Hawaiian Experience.  Sincere appreciation was extended to all the SI clubs for their great participation and wonderful presentations. The creativity, hard work and great support displayed by all club members were evident throughout the event. The friendships made and  great camaraderie experienced would forever be cherished.

A special thank you note was extended to Lisa Broulik, President of SI Honolulu and members of her club, who took the time to send  Aloha greetings on our Friendship Day.

Soroptimist International, Port of Spain (SIPOS) won a Best Practice Award in the category of “People”

SIPOS was one of five Clubs in our Federation to be awarded at this year’s Conference. This was a proud moment for the club’s members on this achievement which was a result of hard work and commitment even during these unprecedented times!

Worthy of mention is that three of this year’s five awards have been won by Trinidadian Clubs!

 

Soroptimist International, Port of Spain (SIPOS) was recognised for Membership Strategy.

SIPOS in addition to the Best Practice Award received recognition for their Membership Strategy at the SI Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Conference on the 29th and 30th October 2021.

SIPOS’s presentation included inviting potential members to know about their Program Action, Team Work, Continuous Engagement and the extensive use of their social media platforms and website.

Congratulations also to their sister club,
SI San Fernando who were also selected for their Recruitment Strategy.

 

Soroptimist International, Port of Spain’s presentation on their Best Practice Award

Breast Cancer Awareness
In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Soroptimist International, Port of Spain members wore pink at their monthly business meeting on the 27th October, 2021

 

Article on “Planting Trees for a brilliant future”
Soroptimist International, Port of Spain’s article on “Planting trees for a brilliant future” in commemoration of the SI centenary celebrations was published in the Guardian Newspaper on the 4th November, 2021.

 

To mark the significant Soroptimist International centennial milestone, Soroptimist International of Port of Spain with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, embarked on an initiative to plant the Yellow Poui and the Silk Cotton trees on the eastern side of the Queens Park Savannah in support of the theme “Planting trees for a Brilliant Future”.

As part of our commitment to the environment and in celebration of the Soroptimist International centenary, we aim to do our part in restoring and protecting the environment, thus creating healthy ecosystems.

 

Intergenerational Women’s Leadership Program

On Saturday 9th October 2021 we had the first face-to-face meet and greet and discussion sessions for the “Big/Little Sister” pairs of the Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD) /Soroptimist International, Port of Spain (SIPOS) Intergenerational Women’s Leadership program which was held at SIPOS’s premises at 15 Nepaul Street, St. James. Since the launch of the program in May of this year all the workshops have been virtual due to the Covid pandemic.

It was so good to have the “Big Sisters” meet their paired “Little Sisters” in person which was a great step in reinforcing the relationships. Brooke Hadeed, Director of programming at ( WINAD) did an excellent job in facilitating the sessions held throughout the day and there was great participation from all the girls. During the discussions on their respective projects which were all different and very insightful, it was clear that the girls have a better sense of the program and how it is meant to impact them- to raise awareness of something that needs attention in their communities and to be willing to do something towards making it better.


The program runs until March 2022 whereby there will be a graduation ceremony.

 

Awareness of the problem of human trafficking

As part of an initiative of Soroptimist International of the Caribbean Network, members of SI Esperance and SI POS placed a banner at the Tobago Terminal to create awareness of the problem of human trafficking and a phone number to call if suspicious of its occurrence. Banners with similar messages are being placed at ports of entry throughout the English speaking Caribbean.

 

Care Ambassadors

The North West Regional Health Authority are partnering with various NGOs for volunteers to assist as “Care Ambassadors” providing customer service to the elderly population as they seek vaccination services at the designated Health Centres.

We thank Gayatri Dass who represented SIPOS today at the Diego Martin Health Centre. This involved her pleasantly greeting the elderly, engaging in delightful conversation to ensure that they were comfortable and assisting them in completing their forms. Gayatri said that her experience was indeed an enlightening one.

 

In celebration of SI’s Centenary, on Sunday, July 25, 2021, SITT published a 24-page newspaper supplement with the Guardian Newspaper, Trinidad.
Here’s our full-page editorial…

To read the entire supplement, click on the link below to access our FlipBook:

https://online.fliphtml5.com/ahemv/zzmz/

 

SI Centenary Tree Planting Project-
Planting of a Sapodilla Tree on the premises of SIPOS, at Nepaul Street, St. James.

 

SAPODILLA TREE

Sapodilla is a tropical evergreen tree well known for its delicious brown fruits and its numerous health benefits.

The tree is fast-growing and flourishes well even under dry arid regions receiving scanty rains. As we approach the dry season in Trinidad and Tobago (which usually commences in February and ends in May) we thought this an appropriate tree to plant.

The tree was planted on the grounds of Soroptimist International Port of Spain’s premises in St. James, Trinidad.

Botanically, sapodilla fruit is a round or oval-shaped berry, measures about 10 cm in diameter and weighs about 150 g. A tree can produce as many as 2,000 fruits/year.

There are great health benefits from the Sapodilla fruit including as an excellent source of antioxidants.

 

Partnership of Soroptimist International, Trinity Cathedral and Rape Crisis Centre advocating against Domestic Violence.

Intergenerational Women’s Leadership Program

Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD) in collaboration with Soroptimist International Port of Spain (SIPOS) launched the Intergenerational Women’s Leadership Program on Saturday May 1st, 2021 via a virtual platform.

The heart of this Programme is the partnering of teenage girls with “Big Sisters” in workshops which are built on the pillars of human rights education; leadership and seeking ways to promote gender equality and security, free from violence.

The programme which will be for a duration of 1 year is designed to empower girls through leadership development, to foster lifetime skill sets and strategies of critical analysis and problem solving and to impact girls’ personal career trajectories. It provides tools to help girls understand and capitalize on their strengths, to make positive life choices, to achieve academic success, and overcoming the barriers of sexism.

From Then Til Now
This is a video presentation of the Pioneering Soroptimists throughout the years and the phenomenal groundwork done for uplifting the status of women in Trinidad and Tobago.

In commemoration of International Women’s Day 2021, all six Soroptimist International Clubs of Trinidad and Tobago united to produce a series of videos featuring prominent local women who choose to challenge gender bias and inequality.

These women hail from different backgrounds and each shared their journey and determination to forge a gender-equal world.

We present Na-o-mi Frederick.   #ChooseToChallenge

# I CHOOSE TO CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO

SI Port of Spain is honoured to have interviewed Na-o-mi Frederick – 21 years old, CEO/Founder of Women of Steel, an organisation which empowers young women and showcases excellence in the steelpan industry and in steelpan manufacturing.

Na-o-mi is a brilliant, committed, motivated, passionate, enterprising young lady who has a vision to inspire young female pannist like herself to reach their true potential by introducing them to steelpan manufacturing. She CHOSE TO CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO in breaking the glass ceiling in a male dominated industry. “Women of Steel” is a very insightful name as it not only denotes women pannist but it conveys sterling qualities of strength and power in women. This organisation is a powerhouse of young women making a positive difference. They have showcased several female pannists on their social media platform creating a medium for inspiration for pan players, arrangers, manufacturers and enthusiasts alike.

Early this year they created a scintillating video production called “Tribute to Women in Pan” which not only paid tribute to women’s presence in the steelpan industry but also gave an insight into steelpan manufacturing process and showcased unity among women in the steelband community. They plan to continue to create more video productions to highlight female excellence in the steelpan Industry. In 2022 they also plan to partner with Pan in School Coordinating Council to host workshops in Secondary Schools which will give students an insight into the history of the Steelpan industry, steelpan music, the discipline involved in becoming a professional pannist and the area of steelpan manufacturing.

 

16th January 2021 marks the 62nd Anniversary of Soroptimism in the English-speaking Caribbean. Being the first Club to be chartered in the region it is also Soroptimist International Port of Spain’s 62 Anniversary. It is a Club with a rich history, its founder President being none other than Audrey Layne Jeffers O.B.E. The Club’s Charter celebration took place at the Country Club and since it was before our Independence in 1962, a toast to the Queen was proposed by the then Attorney General, the Honourable Mr Ellis Clarke who later became His Excellency , The President of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago. SI Port of Spain set the tone and the pace for Soroptimism in Trinidad & Tobago and were responsible for the formation of SI San Fernando in 1962.

Newspaper clipping below:
Dinner function to commemorate the presentation of the Charter to Soroptimist International, Port of Spain. Presentation was made to President Audrey Layne Jeffers.

 

Picture1

 

You are welcome to visit our Facebook page at:
https://www.facebook.com/Soroptimist-International-Port-of-Spain

Email address:-
soroptimistportofspain@gmail.com