Award Info

The JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad & Tobago was established to honor local NGOs, CBOs and civil society organizations that are national models of excellence, improving their communities and utilizing best practices in non-profit management.

The purpose of the award is to:

  • Formally honor the NGO, CBO and civil society profession and communicate the positive impact that these organizations have in the communities, villages and neighborhoods throughout Trinidad and Tobago;
  • Highlight the best practices of NGOs (effective management, accountability, good governance);
  • Identify emerging trends and underrepresented areas in the sector;
  • Identify key leaders who will shape the sector.

Following a merit-based selection process, a one-time award of $5,000 US will be awarded. These funds must be used towards the strengthening of the organization's structure and/or education of its staff.

The extended deadline for receipt of completed applications is March 31, 2015.

The winner will be honored during an awards luncheon at the 2015 Trinidad and Tobago NGO Professionals Seminar being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

2014 JB Fernandes Award Recipient2014 JB Fernandes Winner ALTA

On Wednesday, 14th May, more than 100 civil society professionals and stakeholders gathered at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad for the presentation of the 2014 JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad & Tobago.The 2014 award recipient is Adult Literacy Tutors Association.

The JB Fernandes Award, which celebrates local NGOs, CBOs and civil society organisations that are national models of excellence and utilizing best practices in nonprofit management, is funded by the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust II.

Established in 1992, ALTA's mission is to provide national adult literacy programming. Today, with the support of trained volunteers, the organisation conducts literacy classes in more than 50 communities across Trinidad in churches, community centres and schools for nearly 2,000 students annually.

In addition, ALTA works tirelessly to develop and implement programming that boosts literacy in the larger community including special Reading Circles, which provide reading practice for ALTA students and graduates; adult literacy board games and more than 60 books at various literacy levels; a prison literacy program; and a soon-to-be-launched online literacy programme.

The award presentation was held at the 2014 T&T NGO Professionals Conference, which was sponsored by the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust and convened by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and Veni Apwann on 14th – 15th May at the Hyatt. As the winning organisation, ALTA received a $5,000 US monetary donation.

A judging panel of local and international organisations and foundations selected ALTA as the award recipient and one special recognition honoree – birdsong.

birdsong was founded in 1973 with a principal objective of contributing to the continued development of the steel pan and its practitioners. Over the last 13 years, birdsong has grown to encompass a Steel Orchestra; two entrepreneurial “social enterprises” (a food crop farm and a landscaping/janitorial business); and birdsong Academy, which provides free youth music education to 300 students annually.

The JB Fernandes Memorial Trust congratulates the 2014 award winner and honorable mention who continue setting new standards of excellence in nonprofit management and pointing the way for other organizations to follow.

2013 JB Fernandes Award Recipient2013 JB Fernandes Winner

The Roxborough Police Youth Club was awarded the 2013 JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad & Tobago for its tireless efforts to provide meaningful educational and leisure opportunities for young people in the community. The Tobago-based club has been instrumental in creating a safe haven for local youth, helping facilitate their growth into well-rounded, independent and disciplined adults.

The award was presented on Wednesday, May 15th at the 2013 T&T NGO Professionals Seminar, sponsored by the JB Fernandes Memorial Trusts and convened by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA). As the winning organization, the Roxborough Police Youth Club received a $5,000 US monetary donation. The JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad & Tobago celebrates non-profit organizations that are national models of excellence, improving communities and utilizing best practices in non-profit management. The award is funded by the JB Fernandes Memorial Trusts through RPA, and is administered by IIE.

A judging panel of local and international foundations and non-profits selected Roxborough Police Youth Club as the 2013 award recipient and two special recognition honorees – the Caribbean Kids & Families Therapy Organization (CKFTO) and Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project (FACRP).

Wayne-Chance-of-Vision-on-Mission-Receives-JB-Fernandes-Award2012 JB Fernandes Award Recipient

Vision on Mission was named the 2012 recipient of the JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad & Tobago Vision. The organization achieved this recognition for their comprehensive rehabilitation efforts and restorative programs aimed at ex-inmates in Trinidad and Tobago. The JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad & Tobago celebrates non-profit organizations that are national models of excellence, improving communities and utilizing best practices in non-profit management. The award is funded by the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust through the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and is administered by IIE.

"Receiving this award from such a highly respected organization further validates Vision on Mission's work and in particular the clients we serve," said Wayne Chance, the organization's CEO. "We hope that winning the JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence will help raise the visibility of Vision on Mission as well as the pressing needs of ex-prisoners, at-risk youth and socially displaced members of society in Trinidad and Tobago.”

Dedicated to ex-inmate rehabilitation, re-education and re-integration, Vision on Mission was founded by Mr. Chance during his incarceration at a Port of Spain prison. His goal was to create an organization that allowed newly released inmates to successfully re-enter the larger society, secure gainful employment and access housing in Trinidad and Tobago.

In addition, Vision on Mission also serves as advocacy body, raising public awareness and working with government ministries and other stakeholders on issues that affect incarcerated individuals and ex-inmates. As the winning organization, Vision on Mission received a $5,000 US monetary donation and was honoured on Friday's welcome dinner at the 2012 T&T NGO Professionals Conference.

“We are firm in our conviction that civil society organizations can play a pivotal role in creating new models for social change in Trinidad and Tobago,” stated Luisa Fernandes Chapman of the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust. “Therefore, we are committed to helping our local NGO sector improve its management, financial, and programming capacity. This conference and tonight’s award are symbols of that commitment.”

The benefit of receiving the JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence will truly be felt throughout the organization, given its plans for the $5,000 donation. Although Vision on Mission was started 12 years ago, it is a young, vibrant organization still working toward achieving sustainability and committed to growing its client programs.

Today, Vision on Mission is focused on completing a 53-acre agricultural facility that will provide employment for nearly 100 clients, many of whom have limited job opportunities. With the award's financial donation, Vision on Mission will continue to develop the farming facility, which currently involves socially displaced men in farming agricultural crops, animal husbandry and tilapia aqua-farming.

These products are sold to hospitals, restaurants and other institutions, helping Vision on Mission achieve sustainable employment opportunities for clients. In the next five years, the organization hopes to transition to growing organic produce and expand of the animal husbandry program.

Visions on Mission's future plans also include establishing new facilities to serve young juveniles and young women through work programs (as an alternative to prison) and rehabilitation opportunities respectively.

JB Bernades Award Recipients2012 Special Recognition Awards

Adult Literacy Tutors Association
Executive Director: Paula Lucie-Smith

ALTA strives to provide free and effective adult literacy classes; develop and publish local adult literacy materials; create and maintain a bank of trained and experienced professional literary tutors; maintain resource libraries of materials and teaching aids for ALTA tutors; and support literary efforts within NGOs, the workplace, and government organizations. The key success of ALTA has been in its student intake – 2000 registrants each year for the past two years. ALTA has also created sustainable programs including resource libraries, training programs, free classes as well as published literacy materials that have not only benefited their own participants but other NGOs and government initiatives in Trinidad and Tobago, as well.

The Cotton Tree Foundation
Executive Director: Allyson Hamel-Smith

The mission of The Cotton Tree Foundation is to improve life chances for the residents of St. Anns, Cascade, Belmont, and East Dry River through education and strategic partnerships with private and public sector enterprises. Programs include an Early Childhood Care and Education Centre; The Homework Centre; Community Outreach Sport; Parent Support Activities; Youth Volunteer programs; Art Projects; and a Legal Aid Clinic.

Mamatoto Resource and Birth Centre
Executive Director: Debrah Lewis

Mamatoto is committed to establishing community based, accessible, equitable and innovative childbirth services. This is achieved by offering comprehensive counseling; education, care and support to healthy women and families during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period in a free standing birth centre.

Roxborough Police Youth Club
Executive Director: Jumellia Nichols

The Roxborough Police Youth Club in Roxborough, Tobago, was formed to provide discipline for young people in the community and to develop a positive and healthy lifestyle with an aim of reducing crime. Its vision seeks to be the premier agency to foster growth and empowerment of independent and disciplined youth. The Club has been a monumental fixture in the Tobago community for its devotion to and impact on youth through diverse programming such as the Night Football Tournament, Young Scholars Homework Centre and its newest initiative: the Roxborough Culinary Arts Centre.

Executive Director: Martin Pacheco

Born out of the Black Power Riots of the 1970s, Servol has empowered people in poorer rural areas through innovative educational initiatives that benefit children and parents. It focuses on the Parent Outreach Programme; Day Care Centres; Early Childhood Programmes; Junior Life Centre Programmes; Special schools for differently–abled children; and Adolescent Development and Skill Training Programmes.

J.B. Fernandes Award

IIE presented the  2014 JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence at this year's T&T NGO Professionals Conference in Port of Spain, Trinidad on May 14, 2014. Read more about the winning organization, ALTA (Adult Literacy Tutors Association of Trinidad and Tobago), on the JB Fernandes Award website.

Conference Contact

Lanaia DuBose
Global Learning Programs
Institute of International Education
809 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017 USA

Media Contact

Marie Clark
Clark Communications