Bringing Books & Joy to Children's Homes Across T&T
TSTT Corporate Communications
bmobile recently partnered with thirteen Children Homes across Trinidad and Tobago in order to contribute to the continued education of some of the nation’s young people who need support the most. The Foundation's Book Buddies programme traditionally provides books and school supplies for the students of the Homes. However, it has adapted since 2020 in order to continue its contribution towards the children’s school supplies by way of a monetary contribution instead.
The only truly local communications solution provider has actively ensured that many students remained connected with virtual classes in their procurement and contribution of smart tablets and Wi-Fi connectivity in 2020. However, they also recognise that school textbooks, storybooks and ancillary materials remain a much-needed resource for students. The decision to donate monetarily was also well-timed for many homes who could not fundraise actively in the past eighteen months. The thirteen beneficiary homes in 2021 include St. Dominic's Children's Home, Credo Foundation For Justice (For Credo Boys and Sophia Girls), Rainbow Rescue, Joshua House, Raffa House, Vishok Bhavan, Islamic Home for Children, Marian House, Ferndean's Place Children's Home, Margaret Kistow Children's Home, Sylphil Home In Love - Tobago, Amica House and Cyril Ross Home.
Gerard Cooper, TSTT's General Manager Shared Services, noted the company's pride in the long-running programme, "While the last two years impacted us deeply as it did for all households across T&T, we remain deeply committed to the stellar work that takes place every day at these Children Homes across T&T. We not only support the passionate caregivers but also these amazing, talented and loving children and teenagers for whom we hope to support with this contribution. I am proud of their hard work, the work of those who administrate and manage these homes as well as our team at bmobile who put in the extra work to ensure that Book Buddies not only continues, but adapts and grows too," he added.
Suzanne Phillip-Jack of The Sylphil of Home in Love in Tobago welcomed the donation. The Home has been engaged in completing an extension that would accommodate two isolation rooms for boys and girls. "We are taking an extra precaution to have isolation rooms should we need it and this donation would assist us in this regard this year," Phillip-Jack added. The Home has actively been engaged with thirteen students, recently adding the resources of a psychologist to work with the students. They continue to seek interested volunteers and partners to assist in their work including expansions to their available non-educational books. "The pandemic has hampered us from fundraising as we did with our walkathon last year, so any assistance is welcome!" Phillip-Jack noted.
In Gasparillo, Trinidad, Donna Ali was just recently named President of the Executive Board that oversees the Islamic Home for Children. She also welcomes the donation under challenging times. "The building we are in, which was originally donated is now over thirty years old and has needed some major repairs for some time, so this donation comes at the best time possible," she highlighted. The Home is currently undergoing repairs to the roof and ceiling and now falls directly under the Children's Authority. "Right now, we have twelve children ranging from 9-17 years of age and they have also been happily benefitting from the donation of devices by bmobile to assist in their studies and schooling," she recalled. The Home actively seeks assistance in adding life to its outdoor area, which currently only has one swing. Due to COVID-19 precautions, this outdoor space has become the main space for the wards in their care to enjoy free time.
The Cyril Ross Children's Home was established in 1994 as The Cyril Ross Nursery. There are currently eleven children at the Home, ranging from 3 - 24 years of age. Sandra Stapleton, Manager for the Home, pointed out that the home has a range of students who excel in many non-academic areas ranging from gymnastics to musical arts, including steel pan, drums and dance. "There are many, many costs outside of schooling so we are always grateful for any contribution. There are fees related to transportation, medical and clinic appointments and more. We welcome this donation by bmobile which we will put towards school necessities," she noted. The Home also seeks to be licensed by December 2021 and complete work on a new building they will transition to in 2022.
The bmobile Foundation’s Book Buddies programme is administrated by employees of the telecommunications provider for over a decade. Each year employees commit and ensure that students from Children Homes across Trinidad and Tobago are equipped with the necessary school supplies at the beginning of the school year by purchasing items outlined in the book lists. Each year approximately 150 children are assisted.