TT’s Ambassador to the UN, Pennelope Beckles-Robinson visited the Rose Foundation’s Beyond Borders programme cuisine exchange, on August 8, at Beetham Garden’s Community Centre.
Newsday wrote about the programme hosted by the Rose Foundation and its partners the Inter-Agency Task Force and BPTT on July 31. It is also being done collaboratively with Debe businessman/entrepreneur Vijay Ramai.
Ramai, who has been friends with Beckles-Robinson for almost 15 years, invited her to visit. The class, which teaches Beetham and Laventille residents, the art of roti-making also made its first cinnamon roti.
Ramai said of Beckles-Robinson visit, “She has returned to TT for a short vacation from her job at the UN. After some conversation I spoke and mentioned to her that we were doing this programme in the Beetham and she expressed an interest in coming to mingle with the people and see what it going on.
“We utilised the opportunity also to make some contributions in terms of motivating the people and inspiring them.”
Beckles-Robinson participated and took part in the roti-making process.
She said, “One of the things at the UN is the sustainable development goals. Some of those goals deal with community, deal with partnerships, economic development.
“So the Rose Foundation in very instrumental in this process and they have been able to bring a businessman from south, Vijay. He has brought his skills and special interest in the community.
“It is about innovation and making people feel good about themselves, wanting to get into business and looking at a product that Trinidadians and Tobagonians enjoy. So that you are talking about something and they have done the research and the data so that they research and data says this is a product that will sell.”
She urged residents to see this as an opportunity to empower themselves and to get into business. “I think the project is excellent. Both men and women are here and they are actively involved.”
Beckles-Robinson is on a two and a half-week vacation in TT.