Myrtle Coa-Joseph, who won the trophy for best cook.
The Women of Matelot Step Up - The Dorcas Women's Group
THE women of Matelot have not waited for the State to come with handouts.
Five years ago, they formed the Dorcas Women's Group, intent on doing their part to redevelop the village that is the last stop along the Paria Road from Toco.
The group was founded on June 10, 2008 by village matriarch Beulah Joseph-Clunis, Michelle Roberts and Dianna Lincoln. Joseph-Clunis was appointed president and it was Lincoln who came up with the name for the group, with Dorcas being a woman celebrated in the Bible's Book of Acts 9:36 as being full of goods works and acts of charity.
Membership in the group, located in a village of no more that 900 persons, has grown to fourteen. The group has had a great impact in the area.
According to Joseph-Clunis, the aims and objectives of the Dorcas Women's Group is "to promote the interest and welfare of the community by fostering spiritual, cultural, recreational, educational, social and environmental activities (and) to cooperate with Government and other agencies in the promotion of development activities aimed at improving life and restoring hope in the community".
She said the group also intends to establish a youth arm to interact with young people in the community, thereby instilling good values and morals.
It was also the intention of the women to utilise and maintain the area's natural resources, "creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for us and our visitors".
The group has helped develop the Matelot River Park and camp house, construct pathway for senior citizen, organised a youth forum and senior citizen brunches, and delivered toys and treats to children.
Clunis Joseph is also the Programme Site Director for Amizade Global Service Learning, a United States-based organisation where university students visit Trinidad and Tobago, and are hosted by the Dorcas Women's Group. The student help with sustainable projects in the community, and in exchange, and enjoy the recreation and learn the culture. And it is all funded by Amizade.