Director and founder of the Living Water Community Rhonda Maingot on Tuesday night received the Franco-German Award for Civil Society Action, for her decades of philanthropy and charity work for socially displaced people in TT.
Speaking at a handing-over ceremony at his Scott Street, St Clair, home, German ambassador Holgen Michael commended Maingot and her team for their years of commitment to improving the lives of others and said the occasion was also a special one as it celebrated 56 years of continued diplomatic ties between Germany and France.
Speaking with Newsday after the ceremony, Michael said he was impressed with Maingot’s work and commended her particularly for her work with Venezuelan refugees.
“I am very proud that organisations like Living Water are prepared to help and assist Venezuelan immigrants in their most dire moments when they leave their country without any means to survive. They give them hope, shelter and protection at such a point in their lives.
I think the international community is called upon to help the people of Venezuela.”
For her part, Maingot expressed thanks for the recognition of her work, describing her journey as a spiritual awakening from the founding of the community more than forty years ago.
“The Lord called me out of my natural life, young, energetic and enjoying life, he placed me on a different path.
Little did I know what God had intended. If I knew I would have probably run the other way, but here we are after this long journey.
“God has allowed us to have the support of so many people not just here in Trinidad but also in Germany and France, where I visit very often. God has indeed blessed our community with supporters.”
French Ambassador Serg Lavroff, also extended congratulations to Maingot and said he was pleased with the state of relations between his country and Germany and pledged continued support for their countries and the Caribbean region.
During the ceremony Jerome Dookie CEO of Caribbean Nitrogen and Nitrogen (2000) Unlimited also expressed continued support to the community and pledged a further $10,000 to support its work.