The Children’s Ark is a registered, charitable, non-profit organization specifically catering to the needs of marginalized and ‘at risk’ children, within our society. The name Ark in its connotative form refers to something affording protection, safety and shelter; an agreement to perform some action; a chest or coffer.
This is an organization geared towards improving the lives of institutionalized children or those living in Children’s Homes/Residences or any individual child or body in dire need, by funding the required needs of same after a particular criteria is met.
Former President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona said it best when he addressed the gathering at the launch of the Children's Ark on October 19, 2013, at the Hyatt waterfront. “There can be no nobler cause than the one being pursued by the Children’s Ark,” he said. “There can be no greater symbol of protection than the Ark. The Ark could push society to bear witness to its humanity by our actions rather than our glorious words.”
The Children’s Ark is a registered, non-denominational, non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to meeting the dire needs of children up to the age of 16 - whether they are poor, neglected, abused, abandoned, or physically or mentally challenged. The former President, who himself is the devoted father of a young son and daughter, is the patron of the organization.
The organization sprang into life when well-known volunteer worker Simone de la Bastide, having worked primarily with disadvantaged and battered women and children for more than 15 years, decided to devote her efforts to the disadvantaged children of Trinidad and Tobago, on conferring with her past colleague and friend, April Bermudez. Quickly, she drew together a few trusted friends and professionals as well as her husband, former Chief Justice Michael de la Bastide, April Bermudez, Carol-Lyn Hart, Vickey Assevero Mottlet, Kathy Ann Waterman and Gillian Lucky, who all became the first members of the Board of Directors of the organization.
Over time, other friends/professionals were invited to join the board... Dr. Kongsheik Achong Low, Former First lady Dr. Jean Ramjohn Richards and Danny Montano. Our newest addition to the Board is Dhisha Moorjani, while Gillian Lucky who was appointed a High Court Judge in early 2015 has sadly left The Children's Ark but remains “Friend of the Ark”.
Immediately, corporations and others were eager to assist and help the organization by donating their time and services. Funds were also sent to The Children’s Ark from citizens from all over the country, in support of our work, which was indeed heart-warming and welcomed.
Sellier & Co. worked closely with Michael de la Bastide in preparing all of the legal documents. The Hyatt Hotel offered its new waterfront location for the successful launch of The Children’s Ark, and well-acclaimed designer Brian McFarlane designed and assisted with the event, with Bele dancers welcoming the many guests.
The Children’s Ark is indeed very appreciative and grateful to so many people and corporations, ALL of our contributers big and small, for their generosity in supporting and contributing to the organization for the overall benefit of children in dire need.
Our logo was designed free of charge by Rostant Advertising. Our stationery was done free of charge by Sprip-J Printers Ltd. Our website was designed and implemented free of charge by Monster Media Group Ltd.
Our President, Simone de la Bastide chose the name after many weeks of pondering the purpose of the organizzation. The Ark symbolizes safety and rescue, but it also connotes a covenant.
The Children's Ark, with the help of the “Friends of the Ark”, business community, news media, and generous well wishers and supporters, raise funds for worthy projects throughout Trinidad & Tobago for the overall benefit of children in dire need.
The Ark has no overheads, no office space, no staff, which means that all monies donated or contributed to the Ark goes towards helping children as per our mission.
The Board meets at length each month to discuss, plan, organize and prepare matters at hand.
~Kathy Ann Waterman, Vice President
To seek to improve the lives and living conditions of our nation’s marginalized children; whether underprivileged, abused, abandoned, addicted or otherwise challenged.
Charitable Organizations/Civil Society groups, have been providing vital social services for children within our communities, over a period of many years. Faith based organizations (FBO’s), Community based organizations (CBO’s), and Non Governmental organizations (NGO’s). It is understood that children’s needs are greater than that of adults, as they are dependent on them for their absolute care and guidance, in moulding and nurturing them into responsible and respectable citizens.
There are over 52 Children’s Homes in Trinidad and Tobago, all rendering varied services to marginalized children of different faiths and groups. Many of these children’s homes are in great need of repair and or funds for overall improvement and upgrade, in order to provide better care and facilities for the children.
The Children’s Ark intends on making a positive difference in the lives of those children that are in dire need.
Former President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, himself the father of a teenage son and a daughter, is the patron of the organization. At the launch of the organization at the Hyatt waterfront, the former President urged the adults of Trinidad and Tobago to protect the nation’s children and to be their role models. There can be no nobler cause than the one being pursued by the Children’s Ark, he said.
Upon request, members of the Board of The Children’s Ark met with Their Excellencys’ at The President’s Office (Sept 9th, 2014) His Excellency, who is the Patron of The Children’s Ark, wanted to meet the Board to get a first hand account of the workings and projects of the organization. Both of Their Excellencys’ have expressed keen interest in our work and our ‘cause’. The visit lasted two hours with discussions, ideas and thoughts on the needs of our nation’s marginalized and challenged children. Their Excellencys’ themselves have a genuine and vested interest in helping those in dire need, within our nation.
The Board of The Children’s Ark is a diverse/select group of professional and semi-professional people, consisting of recognized Judges, Doctors, a retired Chief Justice and former President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Lawyers, Former First Lady, company Directors, and retired professionals; all coming together for the benefit of children in dire need.
It is accepted that children and young people generally are most at risk of being neglected or abused in a society which is quickly losing its moral fibre and prone to criminal activities which target children. In this regard the Work of the Children’s Ark must be viewed in the context of much more than assisting vulnerable people but also helping institutions, homes and schools which provide shelter, support and learning for young people. In that regard we ask all those citizens who genuinely want a better future for all our young people to come on board through donations and sponsorship of the projects of the Children’s Ark.
- Gillian Lucky
In my day, cricket played a significant role in my own youth. It was through realizing that I was better when part of a team, that I was as significant as any other, that sport provided direction in my own life. Football was my own highlight, but that willingness to sacrifice, to make hard decisions when others were saying otherwise, is what enabled my eventual successes. If I can offer anything, anything at all, it is that I was always willing to do what I felt was right, and able to resist others if they said differently. That was, and remains the backbone of who I am.
Thank you and continued successes to The Children’s Ark, as you continue to be a beacon to those who need you most. God speed to the youths who benefit from the organization, you remain our country’s brightest lights. Keep shining.
- Shaka Hislop
The country’s adults have failed to set good examples of proper conduct, humility, tolerance and respect for our children.
We have stumbled and we keep on stumbling. We have spawned a generation that is in crisis. We need to return to basics as the rippled effects of neglected and abused children affected the society too, causing the country as a whole to reap the fruits of their discontent.
There is no nobler cause than the one being pursued by the childrens ark… There can be no stronger symbol of protection than the ark.
THE ARK could push society to bear witness to its humanity by our actions rather than our glorious words.
I am confident that THE CHILDREN’S ARK will be the type of NGO that will create a holistic environment that will create a citizen and a patriot that we can all be proud of.
- Former President Carmona