TSTT CEO Ronald Walcott

Chosen Hands empowers through art with support from bmobile

TSTT Corporate Communications

Press Release

Trinidad and Tobago's diverse range of creativity outputs per capita may rival most other countries easily. But few people stop to note that art not only represents the creation of beauty for the sake of it but can also be a meaningful income and outlet for many. Further still, it can be a source of therapy and personal growth. From this perspective, the founder of Chosen Hands views her mission concerning creativity and holistic wellness.

Chosen Hands was founded by Creative Director Anika Plowden-Corentin. It is a nonprofit Art and Wellness creative program which uses art as a vehicle for personal development, healing and self-expression. It is a network of mobile artists and professionals who actively choose to use their time, talent and resources to create a safe space and positive shift in the minds of the young participants. Through this program, they intend to nurture, empower and transform the lives of those in society who are most in need.

For the past few years, Plowden-Corentin has worked closely with local and international artists, corporate Trinidad and Tobago, youth mentors and professionals to use art as a vehicle for wellness, creativity, entrepreneurship and healing for the girls who reside at the St. Jude's Home. The NGO primarily uses art to promote wellness, education, mentorship and developmental opportunities using the "Shout and Echo" concept. This means that each student at St Jude's Home is paired with a mentor during art and wellness sessions, creating an educational space in art and a space for sharing and personal growth.

Darryl Duke, Acting General Manager Enterprise Services at TSTT, pointed out that “the work of education in all forms is crucial to the development of young people in T&T.” He elaborated, "For more than two decades, bmobile has found that partnerships with nonprofit organisations like Chosen Hands is just one of the ways that we continue to support youth development and education through the bmobile Foundation. This represents the truest form of partnership for us as the indigenous telecom provider, with not only excellent outcomes through self-initiated funding for the St Jude's Home but also allows for an avenue of personal development and discovery for the young participants," he added.

Plowden-Corentin corroborated this, highlighting, “The art and wellness sessions allow the mentors in various disciplines to take down their guard and share their life’s experiences, their pitfalls and triumphs which in turn help these young lives navigate their own challenges. It is a beautiful experience to witness when that thing that is holding the students back from soaring, unlocks. And they start freely expressing their dreams through art.”

According to Plowden-Corentin, “it is critical to invest in the development of well-rounded human beings. Not in only words but by small actions that move things forward.” She added, "Whether we choose to admit it or not, we all have had someone or a community of persons who anchored us when we were in need of a helping hand. The Chosen Hands Art and Wellness mentorship program finds a simple way to help heal hurting hearts and provide this generation, the future generations, with hope."

The NGO recently hosted the Colours of Hope Exhibition due to the brilliant creative outcomes of the students' work. Held at the historic Rotunda Gallery at the Red House, the exhibition featured over 90 art pieces created mainly during the pandemic by the students of St. Jude's and their mentors. The exhibition, which was supported by corporate entities including bmobile, was well attended by a range of visitors, including fellow artists, other NGOs, Ministers, corporate sponsors as well as members of several diplomatic postings including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, European Union, Mexico, Panama, Spain, United Kingdom. "It was important for the girls to see their work displayed among the work of renowned artists and mentors in Trinidad and Tobago. It was such an uplifting and empowering moment for our students and a feeling of great pride for our mentors," Plowden-Corentin added. As a result of the exhibition, Chosen Hands also presented a cheque for $30,500 to the Management of St. Jude's School for Girls on Friday 4th February 2022 alongside a donation of hampers filled with hand sanitizers from LSA Healthcare Services Limited.

Arveon Prout, Director of the Chosen Hands, noted, "It is important for us that the exhibition is seen beyond our shores and provides a beacon of hope and feeling of pride not just to the girls of St. Jude's, but to all Trinidad and Tobago citizens locally and in the diaspora as well."
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About the Colours of Hope Exhibition
The Vision for Chosen Hands was to create an art and wellness vehicle where vulnerable groups and, in this context, vulnerable girls can safely and confidently express themselves. This was done through the support of mentors and coaches.

For more information on the program please contact:
Anika Plowden-Corentin
Creative Director
735-2727 or 279-3092
chosenhandstt@gmail.com