THE present and future development of the community of Mayaro and environs was the centre of discussions between BPTT and various stakeholder groups at the Mayaro Resource Centre.
Led by regional president Claire Fitzpatrick, the BPTT team also included Giselle Thompson, vice-president corporate operations; Ronda Francis, corporate responsibility manager; and Imran Mohammed, Galeota area operations manager. The team spent the day interacting with the community as well as representatives of key stakeholder groups.
The stakeholders participated in a highly-interactive session where they shared a working lunch and discussed various topics on the development of Mayaro. The diverse group represented education, sports, business, the environment, culture, fishing, agriculture and the Police and Fire Services, said a media release.
MP for Mayaro Rushton Paray also attended the meeting and spoke of his interaction with BPTT and the investments it has made in the area. Paray said, “I have to say that the interaction with BPTT has been positive and we have partnered with them in a number of critical projects including a disaster management plan for Mayaro.
:From the Brighter Prospects scholarship programme to the various sporting competitions and this Mayaro Resource Centre, BPTT has invested in the improvement of Mayaro in many facets. I think we need to acknowledge their contributions and discussions like these help to guide future investments.
“I have identified a number of projects where MIPED (the Mayaro Initiative for Private Enterprise Development) can play a key role and one of the main aspects for the future development of Mayaro is maximising its enormous tourism potential. I look forward to working with BPTT and the community in continuing along this path towards achieving the sustainable development of Mayaro.”
A number of issues were addressed and cleared up including procurement of contracting services, follow-up on the BPTT-hosted sustainable fisheries workshop held in 2018, charting the way forward for sporting development and the ongoing upgrades to the multi-purpose Mayaro Resource Centre facilities.
Commented on the significance of the dialogue Fitzpatrick said, “It is always a great pleasure to interact with the stakeholders in Mayaro and this community has always been, and will always remain, a top priority for us. Conversations like these help to guide and pinpoint our future investments and the candour and honest feedback was very much appreciated.
"We look forward to continue working with your community in terms of assisting in your continued drive to become a model community for the nation to emulate. This visit was productive and has energised our entire team to keep working for the betterment of Mayaro.”
Earlier, the BPTT team engaged with clients of the Mayaro Initiative for Private Enterprise Development (MIPED), a micro-enterprise loan facility established by BPTT in 2002 to foster enterprise development.
Fitzpatrick paid a visit to longstanding MIPED client, Wayne Boodram, who started off with a loan in 2004 to establish a poultry business. Some 15 years and many loans later, Boodram has expanded his portfolio to encompass a car rental business and is developing Wayne’s One Stop Shop in his Guayaguayare home community to supply grocery items in addition to hardware materials, car accessories, stationery, fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry and other meats.
Following this visit, Fitzpatrick visited the "MIPED market" hosted at the Mayaro Resource Centre. The market featured booths highlighting successful clients who had established unique businesses in the community and who had now reached a national and even regional marketplace. Businesses engaged in copper craft, landscaping services, catering, farming as well as gourmet and party supplies showed off their products.
MIPED’s manager Rory Jitta said the display was geared to highlight success stories. “We wanted to showcase the talent and variety of our clients and hear their success stories. The fact is that with every client success, MIPED itself becomes more successful and is able to help establish more businesses.
"This lends to the development of the entire community through the creation of jobs and empowering marginalised groups. MIPED doesn’t just offer loans; we offer the opportunity for persons to achieve their dreams.”
Visitors to the market checked out and also purchased products as well as sampled fresh watermelon and home-made ice cream and smoothies on offer.
Farmer Navin Rostant, who had his fresh produce on display alongside slices of watermelon, said, “I’ve been involved with agriculture since the age of 12 working alongside my parents. From the first MIPED loan I took in 2007, I was able to expand my watermelon crop and also diversify into other crops including baigan, tomatoes, ochro, caraille and squash. Things are going well so far but I am always looking to improve and I know that BPTT will be there to support me through MIPED.”