Saturday, September 16th, 2017

THE true spirit of the season was on full display during the Christmas treat hosted by the Mayaro Initiative for Private Enterprise Development (MIPED) at the bpTT Mayaro Resource Centre on December 17th.

Five-year-old Anna-Marie Harry, was one of the hundreds of kids who attended and had a merry time, “I got lots of snacks and played and had fun. I also met other children to play with and I’m glad that my mommy and aunty took me to meet Santa and celebrate Christmas.”

MIPED is the first micro-finance lending organisation sponsored by a private non-financial company in Trinidad and Tobago. Started in 2002 by BP Trinidad and Tobago, the organisation’s mission is to develop Mayaro and environs into a model community, creating self-sustaining employment, improving training and business opportunities to help build self-esteem and improve the quality of life.

Asraph Ali, Chairman of MIPED, explained the significance of the function. “This event is multifold in its purpose, although the main objective is giving these kids a wonderful Christmas experience. We use this treat to show appreciation to our clients and it is a great opportunity for them to interact and network towards creating a stronger Mayaro community. We have a great time sharing and celebrating the Christmas spirit, and it really is a highlight of the year for me,” Ali explained.

Since inception, MIPED has lent over $80 million through more than 3,900 loans that have facilitated the establishment of businesses and the creation of hundreds of permanent and temporary jobs.

MIPED General Manager, Rory Jitta explained that the organisation has become an essential aspect of the economic and social landscape of the south-eastern community. “Although MIPED’s statistics are impressive, our real success is in our ability to make a meaningful impact on the quality of life for our clients and by extension, the community of Mayaro. This treat is the result of the hard work of many persons and I would like to thank BP Trinidad and Tobago, the staff of the bpTT Mayaro Resource Centre, Jay’s Toy Box, and all of the parents and volunteers who make this event magical for everyone, especially the kids,” Jitta explained.

The MIPED Christmas treat featured bouncy castles, face painting, balloon art and endless snacks for the kids including snowcones, popcorn, doubles and pholourie. There was a wonderful singing performance by the Newlands Carollers, but the highlight of the event was the giving of gifts to every child in attendance.

For Allison Ramkissoon of Kernaham Village, who was kept on her toes by her two kids Jason and Imani, it was a day not to be forgotten, “It’s wonderful that MIPED shows appreciation to us and maybe this is the only financial institution that actually invests in the happiness of its clients. They helped us when we needed a loan to plant watermelon and beyond facilitating funding, they showed us genuine care and attention. MIPED is like one big family and this treat exemplifies that sentiment. I would like to wish them the best for the season and for the New Year as they continue their work in making Mayaro a better place.”