Rhonda Maingot is a Trinidadian who has been instrumental in founding an unprecedented number of charitable religious institutions dedicated to children, the poor, the elderly, and the infirm in Trinidad & Tobago and throughout the region over nearly four decades.
Since founding the Living Water Community in 1975, Ms Maingot has created more than 20 religious and secular organizations, missions, and service institutions throughout theCaribbean, and further abroad. These include charity missions, two hospices, one for persons with AIDS and one for persons with cancer (in 1983 and in 2006), a home for the aged (2011), drug rehabilitation centres (1986 and 2012), and many more.
Ms Maingot’s service organizations include charitable and care organizations for the poor and socially vulnerable, like the Ave Maria Centre for Homeless Persons, Our Lady of the Wayside Halfway House for Abandoned Children, hospice programmes for AIDS sufferers, and treatment and counseling for young women, the aged, and substance abusers.
In addition to the many local chapters of her institutions, she has established permanent missions in St Lucia, Barbados, St Vincent, and the Netherlands Antilles. She also undertook a three-year mission to Russia after the end of communism in 1992.
In addition to missions, she has been active in the use of media and new media to evangelize– forming a religious communications network, and initiating media training programmes – and turning charitable work into economically sustainable activity. Her Fountain of Hope Developmental Programme for Young Women in Port of Spain has generated Vision of Hope, a small garment factory. The original Living Water Community has also generated catering and food service businesses.
In 1993, Ms Maingot founded the Trinity Communications Network, and in 1994, formed the Caribbean School for Catholic Communications. By 2002, she had expanded the radio and television enterprise into a multi-media concern with an Internet presence, which generates employment.
Her most remarkable traits include the ability to translate entrepreneurial inclinations and innovation to service public rather than private good, and to create institutions tailored for specific circumstances, which have the capacity to evolve as situations change. Ms Maingot has been honoured by several organizations, national and international for her work. These include the State (Trinidad & Tobago), with a Chaconia Medal, Gold (1986), the Express Newspaper, the Rotary Club International, the City of Port of Spain, and the Embassy of the United States.