ApaNa Issue 2 April – July 2020

Giselle Mendez

Founder, Volunteer Center of Trinidad and Tobago

Volunteer organisations such as the Volunteer Center of Trinidad and Tobago (VCTT) broker engagement and connect cross-sectoral institutional initiatives with volunteer actions in Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the Caribbean. VCTT has evolved over the past eight (8) years from being an organisation operating mainly via volunteering website to an online platform that connects nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs) to one that implements strategic interventions through partnerships that support youth and vulnerable communities in Trinidad and Tobago. VCTT continues to rely on volunteers and its call for everyone to play a part in their country’s development. Recently ApaNa interviewed Giselle Mendez to discuss VCTT and how it has evolved since she founded the organisation and her views on volunteerism in Trinidad and Tobago and its link with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Tell us a bit about the Volunteer Center of Trinidad and Tobago (VCTT) and why you established it?

We launched VCTT in Trinidad in June 2012. We existed around our mission to connect people, fuel hope and collaborate for change. We specialise in connecting our country’s most valuable resources, that is, human resources, to impact causes. VCTT started off from a passionate and deep love and appreciation of the true value of volunteerism. It was conceptualized to bridge the gap between NGOs and CBOs that are doing phenomenal transformation work in Trinidad and Tobago and the need for more resources to help them further their mission and objectives. So, it is around that idea that VCTT was born.

How do you connect volunteers with organisations?

Initially, when we started off, were just connecting people to a variety of causes. We supported a diverse portfolio of organisations. We just had a website which has now…

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