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Business Guardian 2017-06-29
Thursday, June 29, 2017
The peripheral may be pivotal
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Julian and Nathalie Ferguson

Marise Warner came on board as an ALTA Tutor in 1997 and never left. She has played many different roles at ALTA—first as a tutor, then coordinator of one of ALTA’s venues, facilitator during the annual Tutor Training Course and she now sits on ALTA’s Board as the Legal Officer. For the next five weeks, we will share Marise’s experience with ALTA which was first published in 20 years of ALTA (ALTA’s 20th anniversary magazine).

ALTA, it is fair to say, captivated me—initially through a radio advertisement at a time when, having just graduated from law school, I still had all the enthusiasm of youth and a dire need to direct my energies into a worthwhile pursuit before life’s routines and society’s blueprint for living absorbed me.

The opportunity was a true godsend. I have always admired teachers. It had, for some time, been my dream to become one. Not every profession has the privilege of being a vocation. Teaching holds that honour. I was from a family of natural teachers—the greatest being my mother—I was sure to excel.

Unfortunately, I approached teaching adult literacy with all the arrogance that epitomises everything a true teacher is not. I can do it, therefore I can teach it. I understand it, therefore it is easily understood.

It is an approach that assumes sameness, which does not cater for differences and, of course, is the reason for ALTA’s existence. I found reading simple; teaching it would be too. I had made my first mistake. ALTA’s requirement to complete a training course baffled me. Bafflement and arrogance quickly gave way to immense humility and tremendous awe in my first minute at the training course.

Reading and writing are not at all simple. They are complex, multi-faceted and layered processes. The natural speller has no difficulty choosing er for term, ir for girl, and ur for burn. For others, this choice represents a challenge. I became fascinated. English spelling makes no sense, we often say. But, those who have taken the time to examine and understand language will assert that it is more sensible and rule-based than we realise. Silent “e” at the end of the word makes the vowel say its name; that silent “e” which we may consider absolutely useless, turns win to wine, fat to fate, and mop to mope. That “e” again when paired with “g” at the end of a word, makes “g” soft. So wag become wage; hug becomes huge.

And so a teacher-to-be had her first lesson. What we perceive to be marginal may in fact be central; the peripheral may be pivotal. A lesson about life and about people—most appropriate in the context of adult literacy.

Volunteer, Donate or Sponsor-a-student. Call 624-2582 or email altapos.tt@gmail.com for more info. Keep up to date with ALTA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: ALTA TT

Local couple aims to create a faith-based network
Thursday, June 29, 2017

They met at a church over a decade ago. He was Trinidadian and she was from Cameroon. They found much in common. One thing in particular was their love for information technology.

Julian and Nathalie Ferguson, who lived in the US for many years and birthed their three children there, are today web developers and the owners of FLOCKNet, whose function is to create simple, intuitive, user-friendly websites and apps.

Recently the pair moved to Trinidad permanently to give back to Julian’s birth land in various ways. One of those ways, they said, was the development of www.JesusBeat.com

“This website was developed because we want to see Jesus lifted high! JesusBeat.com is a worldwide movement of churches working together to change nations through a network of church leaders, gatherings, training events and resources. We are also providing Christian churches and ministries with the opportunity to list information about their organisation and events on our online directory,” said Julian.

As part of their Christ-centred mission, they are also in the process of establishing the Jesus Beat Foundation in the US. This aims to help poor families and children who are orphaned in the Caribbean and Africa. The foundation, they say, will mimic that of the world-renowned Hershey’s Foundation, founded by Milton Hershey in 1935.

The couple said the Hershey Foundation, a non-profit organisation, created a “universal development campus,” having its own college, high school, cultural centre, recreational grounds, and so on.

“This is exactly what we would like to do here, and in Cameroon, where my wife is from,” Julian said.

They say they have acres of land in Cameroon inherited by Nathalie, enough to start building their dream.

The interracial couple (Julian is of East-Indian descent and Natalie is of African descent) said it would be a dream to see such a space erected for underprivileged people—a place that is not just about giving a hot cup of soup or secondhand clothes to people (though these things are also good), but a space where underprivileged people can develop, grow and be ready to take on the world.

Julian, 36, is also perturbed by what he sees as the disunity among T&T churches. The former Tunapuna native, who left the country in his early teens to attend school in the US, said upon his return he noticed that there seemed to be as many churches as there are bars in Trinidad, yet the churches don’t seem to band together to create the impact needed for change, healing and deliverance.

The husband and wife team are hoping JesusBeat.com will mitigate this.

“We really want to combine all the institutions that were forged to better people’s lives to come together. So it is not just working with the church, but every organisation that is people-centred, people-driven and has the development of people at the fore,” said Nathalie.

“We are excited about this mission because we know we are in the right place at the right time. Everybody is searching for the hand that will rescue them and our mission is to lead them to the hand of God,” she said.

Julian and Nathalie Ferguson.
Miss World candidades show their talents
Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Miss World T&T delegates proved that they possess much more than beauty when they participated in the Tea Party, Talent and Top Model Competition last Friday.

The competition, held at the City Auditorium, San Fernando, was part of the screening process which will determine the overall winner.

The ladies have already undergone several challenges, including the fitness challenge on the journey to the national pageant scheduled for July. The eight top contestants will make it to the finals and one of the lucky eight will represent this country in the international pageant in China, in November.

Before a full house at City Auditorium, last Friday, the contestants made their first appearance on stage, demonstrating their talent.

Leading off this segment was Tanisha Lalla, who set the bar with an upbeat performance of an Indian dance to the song Halkat Jawani from the movie Heroine.

Following in her footsteps was Anastasia Mootoo, who changed the tempo with a spoken word piece she wrote called Scars. In this monologue, Mootoo reflected on the pain and struggles of women and their indomitable strength that helps them to overcome adversity and be successful.

The haunting strings of the sitar resonated in the auditorium as Chandini Chanka performed two classical melodies—Rema and Dreadlocks, composed by Mungal Patasar.

A Caribbean fusion again took centre stage as Sherisse Bideshi chose a Neval Chatelal and Machel Montano combination—Wonders of the World—to deliver a powerful Jazz Arco Dance, choreographed by Tarrin Mc Mayo.

Dance was also the talent displayed by Zayna Mc Donald who demonstrated her dexterity with her original choreographed contemporary piece to the music of To This Day Project by Shane Koyezan. The message from this piece, Mc Donald said, was to highlight not only the consequences of bullying, but also to show how one can overcome past obstacles and see the beauty within.

Melissa Aguilleira also demonstrated the power of the dance with an evocative piece choreographed by Judy Boatswain to the strains of Andre Tanker Morena Osha, while Jade Mascall’s lyrical dance to the sound of Hallelujah by Pentatonix stroked the audience; she encouraged them to to paint their life with positivity, kindness and love.

The lone vocalist among the eight was Djennicia Francis, who gave a commendable rendition of Rihanna’s Love on the Brain.

Fashion was also the order of the night as the delegates paraded in outfits from the Zad and Eastman Designs, as well as Kooti’s, the official stylist of the 2017 pageant.

Tanisha Lalla, 22 of Woodland, a third-year student of the University of the West Indies, emerged the winner in the Top Model Segment. Zayna, 21, a student at the University of T&T, walked away with the top spot in the talent segment.

Franchise holder Vanessa Sahatoo, has partnered with the Rotary Club of Penal to assist flood victims, and the delegates will visit the Penal/Debe Region to distribute hampers and other relief supplies.

During last Friday’s show, the queens also raised $8,600 within one hour for Tropical Storm Bret victims in San Fernando by auctioning of a bottle of Moet and Chandon Champagne donated by AS Bryden and Sons.

Keirn Almarles of St Joseph Village, San Fernando was the lucky champagne winner.

Sherisse Bideshi, 24, from Arima—her ambition is to become a Principal or Lecturer.
Citi volunteers paint Chaguanas homes
Thursday, June 29, 2017

Citi celebrated its 12th annual Global Community Day recently, and Citi volunteers generously contributed their efforts in Chaguanas this year, painting homes and a community centre, and donating food hampers.

More than 65 Citi volunteers in Trinidad joined the efforts of 100,000 of their colleagues, family and friends in 91 countries to give service in their local communities.

In the days leading up to and including Global Community Day, Citi volunteers participated in more than 1,500 service projects ranging from urban revitalisation to mentorship and job skills training, literacy and education, environmental conservation and disaster relief.

“Citi’s annual Global Community Day is an important event for our firm and one I always look forward to,” said Citi CEO Michael Corbat. “It provides an opportunity to deepen our relationships with communities we serve, which is absolutely vital to our business success. And it shows the impact we can have when our people show up in force—more than 100,000 strong this year.”

Catalina Herrera Roca, Citi County Officer for Trinidad, said: “Global Community Day is an anticipated day when staff work together in solidarity with the common purpose of enhancing the lives of others and giving back to local communities in a more relaxed setting. This year, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity T&T, employees, their families and friends, volunteered to paint some of the residents’ homes and the community centre at Cashews Gardens, Chaguanas as well as distributed food hampers to families.”

Since the inaugural Global Community Day in 2006, Citi volunteers have contributed more than three million hours of service to Global Community Day projects in hundreds of cities throughout the world.

MORE INFO: To learn more about Citi’s citizenship efforts across the globe and to review the 2016 Global Citizenship Report, visit http://citizenship.citigroup.com.

Alice Yard hosts talk by Emilie Boone
Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Terms of Emergence: How Photography from the African Diaspora Comes into Public View is the name of a talk on today (Thursday, June 29), at 7.00 pm, at Alice Yard. This informal public presentation/workshop will consider how collections of photographs from the African Diaspora have gained their importance and relevance within museums and the field of art history.

Emilie Boone will consider case studies related to her research. In addition, she will discuss the limitations and challenges of studying this particular history of photography.

Emilie Boone focuses on the art and photography of the African Diaspora. She has written for the History of Photography and African Arts journals in addition to institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago and the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. She is an Assistant Professor at CUNY New York City College of Technology, which is an appointment that followed a Mellon Curatorial Fellowship at the Williams College Museum of Art and the completion of her PhD in Northwestern University’s Department of Art History.

Emilie Boone
Choo Kong presents new comedy: Choose Your Partner Wisely
Thursday, June 29, 2017

Raymond Choo Kong Productions in association with First Instinct is presenting the comic play Choose Your Partner Wisely this weekend. Directed by Raymond Choo Kong, it is on tomorrow night at the Cipriani College of Labour in Valsayn, where it runs for three nights: Friday, June 30 to Sunday, July 2. It will also be shown at SAPA next month, on July 15 and 16.

Based on the highly successful film Why Did I Get Married, the play Choose Your Partner Wisely is a comic look into the lives of real, everyday relationships. A release from the producers says this production has a young cast who bring with them much energy and vibrancy. The producers say:

“From Best Village we have Nicholas Subero, from UWI we have Rhesa Samuel and Chanel Glasgow, from UTT we have Renee King and from her beginnings at TTW (Trinidad Theatre Workshop) we have Kala Neehall.” This is in addition to actors Rachel Bascombe, Kearn Samuel, Chris Smith, Jeanine Lee Kim and the producer—Trevon C Jugmohan.

Raymond Choo Kong says he is taking a topic that “oozes seriousness and bringing out the humour that lies within”. So watch out for comic zingers and slapstick

Ticket info

​Ali’s Pharmacy, Val Park Shopping Plaza—662-6960
Stechers, Long Circular Mall, St James—628-0987 & Trincity Mall—640-9274
Card Gallery, Price Plaza, Chaguanas—672-9842
Dolce Vit, MovieTowne, POS— 624-6378
Michael and Jody’s, Gulf City Mall, San Fernando—653-0404
The Cipriani College Box opens from Monday 26, 12 noon to 6 pm Daily—273-5465
For more info, call: 477-0772 or 384-8663

Choo Kong as Mike.
IN A SCENE right out of a. Hollywood horror movie, Shariff. Mohammed walked into his. Malabar house yesterday to find. it ransacked, his wife Hafeeza. ‘Rose’ Mohammed and their. neighbour Vedesh Subar, 13,. both bound, gagged and dead.
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