Over the past five years, the JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad & Tobago has sought 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.
This year, the outstanding work and relentless dedication of the Caribbean Kids and Families Therapy Organization (CKFTO) has earned them this prestigious Award.
CKFTO began as a devoted mother’s dream to make a difference in her son’s life and in the lives of all children with special needs throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
Established in 2008, CKFTO has since then developed itself as the leading nonprofit Therapeutic Service Provider in Trinidad providing affordable occupational therapy (OT), speech and language therapy (SLP), music therapy (MT), psychological services (PSYCH), and family support services to all persons in need between birth and 21 years of age, with various disabilities.
Through a transdisciplinary approach, CKFTO focuses on the promotion of fine and gross motor, perceptual, cognitive and developmental skills in children with various levels of special needs and learning differences.
In keeping with their core values, CKFTO provides financial assistance which includes discounts, financial relief for families, and partially subsidized services for therapy to low-income families through fundraising activities.
Their wide range of services range from Therapy Groups and Education to Awareness Programs. You can find the full listing here.
Through their services, the CKFTO continues to work towards their mission; “To provide affordable, professional and empathetic therapeutic services to children ages birth to twenty-one with special needs; to provide support and empowerment to families of children with special needs and to educate and involve the community of Trinidad and Tobago in creating an open and caring society for all persons with special needs.”
According to Krista Hamel-Smith, General Manager of CKFTO, the decision to apply for the JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence “presented an opportunity that would not only help CKFTO financially with our capacity building but also give CKFTO recognition as a reputable non-profit organization in Trinidad and Tobago”.
The award was presented during the 2017 TTNGO News Seminar, which saw eighty local NGOs come together at the Hyatt Regency to learn about Social Entrepreneurship. According to Mrs. Hamel-Smith, the grant will be used to “…improve the financial management systems of CKFTO to ensure continued transparency and assist the organization as a whole”. She also noted that “the JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence holds special meaning to the CKFTO team as it not only gives CKFTO recognition locally and internationally but confirms that CKFTO is moving in the right direction as all our efforts are being recognized by a reputable foundation”.
If your NGO is considering applying for next year’s award here’s a piece of advice from Mrs. Hamel-Smith, “Always focus on your mission and have a strategic plan in place to achieve your objectives. Also, recognize and treat your NGO as a business entity or, as mentioned in the 2017 TTNGO News Seminar, as a Social Enterprise.”
Check out the Caribbean Kids and Families Therapy Organization (CKFTO) on Facebook- www.facebook.com/ckfto.org