Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has praised Founder and Executive Director of the Mustard Seed Communities (MSC), the Very Rev Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon, for the exemplary work of his organisation.
“We are always honoured and inspired to see the outstanding work of a fellow Trinidad and Tobago national, particularly when it’s a field that is very close to my own heart,” Mrs. Persad-Bissessar said during a visit to the MSC’s head office in Kingston Friday July 9.
Her visit was part of a two-day working stop in Kingston, as special guest of Jamaica’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, following the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Montego Bay (July 4 -7).
She commended Monsignor Ramkissoon on the establishment of the Mustard Seed Communities, and for his 32 years of dedicated service to the people, particularly the children of Jamaica, as well as his work overseas.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar (left) interacts with students from the Mustard Seed Communities’ Little Angels Learning Centre, Kevary Lewis (second right) and Tariq Cousins (right), during a tour of the Mustard Seed Communities’ head office in Kingston on Friday (July 9). Mrs. Persad-Bissessar was on a two-day working visit to Kingston as special guest of Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding.
“Too often, the needs of our children, the less fortunate, go unnoticed. It is for this reason, it was important for me to see the work being done here at Mustard Seed Communities,” she said.
The T&T Prime Minister said she was very impressed by the range of services and the outreach programmes of the MSC, not only for children living with HIV/AIDs and severe mental and physical challenges, but also pregnant teenagers and their families.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar (right) watches master potter at the Mustard Seed Communities, Patrick Hall, as he makes pottery in the organisation’s ceramic studio located at its head office in Kingston. Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar was on a tour of the facility on Friday July 9 as part of a two-day working visit to Kingston as special guest of Jamaica’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding.
She said Monsignor Ramkissoon has developed a model, ranging from unbridled care to the underprivileged, to generating opportunities in areas such as fish, egg and livestock farming, pottery, craft production and distance training.
“Your selfless work speaks volumes, you are rightly deserving of the numerous awards that have been bestowed upon you over the years.I commend you for your work.You are indeed an exemplar of Caribbean excellence,” she said.
Monsignor Ramkissoon, in response, encouraged Caribbean citizens to look after persons who are most disadvantaged and most in need of help.
“No matter the budgetary strains, I think it is our first duty to look after those who need our undivided attention,” he said.
The newly elected Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago also toured sections of the MSC’s headquarters, dubbed ‘My Father’s House’, which is home to mentally and physically challenged children.
It also houses pottery and card production shops, a community based radio station – Roots FM, an early childhood institution – Little Angels Learning Centre, and the newly opened Loaves and Fishes Ministries which is an association of several departments within the Mustard Seed Family.
A highlight of the tour was Mrs. Persad-Bissessar’s interaction with the children of the learning centre, who sang to her.
Known to be passionate about the plight of children, she offered words of advice,then handed out bags consisting of pens, note books, maps of Trinidad and Tobago and other items conveying information about the twin-island republic.
She also met with several mentally and physically challenged children in their dormitories.
The Prime Minister was given a set of cards and items of pottery by a resident of ‘My Father’s House’, as well as a student from the learning centre. She presented Monsignor Ramkissoon with several copies of a book of her speeches entitled: ‘Through the Political Glass Ceiling”, which she recently launched.
Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar left Jamaica on Friday.