Awareness and Prevention Program Fundraiser Luncheon 2016
Date: May 20, 2016
Time: 12:00 Noon
Venue: The Hyatt Regency
Awareness and Prevention Program Fundraiser Luncheon 2016 Details
Awareness and Prevention Program Fundraiser Luncheon 2015
Date: October 23, 2015
Time: 12:00 Noon
Venue: The Hyatt Regency
Awareness and Prevention Program Fundraiser Luncheon 2015 Details
In early July of 2015, The Children's Ark held discussions with a recognized organization in Nepal... 'Maiti Nepal', regarding missing / trafficked children. After much deliberation The Children's Ark soon made the decision to create an 'Awareness & Prevention' program on Child Trafficking in Trinidad & Tobago... to target all the schools and communities in our country.
Having met with both The Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU), under the umbrella of the Ministry of National Security, as well as the Victims & Witness Support Unit (VWSU) under the umbrella of the Trinidad & Tobago Police Force... further discussions were held and both Units have now partnered with The Children's Ark on a six month "Awareness & Prevention" program.
The 'Awareness & Prevention ' Program was launched at a fundraising event at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, on October 23rd with over 450 guests attending, where both His Excellency the President Mr. Anthony Carmona and the Minister of National Security, Hon. Ret. Major General Edmund Dillon spoke, endorsing the work of The Children's Ark and in particular, our 'Awareness & Prevention ' Program concerning Child Trafficking for the sex, drug and labour trade in and out of Trinidad & Tobago.
His Excellency The President Mr. Anthony Carmona has fully endorsed and is supporting this program in several ways.
Our main target would be schools and communities, in partnership with the CTU and the VWSU via:
Electronic and print media
Software for children's laptops
Ministry of Education
Child size puppets ( plays) at schools / media
Strategically placed posters/flyers at Healthcare centres / public places and spaces.
Support from 'Maiti Nepal', Human trafficking org in Nepal
Social media and others.
Launch of the Miss Universe Partnership
Date: December 14, 2014
Time: 12:00 noon
Venue: The Beetham School
Batting for Children
Date: October 16, 2014
Time: 12:00 noon
Venue: The Hyatt Hotel Ballroom
It is no secret that the proverbial child represents one of the most vulnerable
demographics in society, so that when I was approached by the Children’s Ark to be patron,
I accepted. Given the committed track record and service of those ensconced in the Children’s
Ark, I accepted unreservedly. It is easy to take the innocence of childhood laughter
for granted. We often hear about the resilience of children – they will bounce back –
but we do not hear about the pain that they endure silently.
No one speaks of the turmoil and anguish they shoulder. We often forget conveniently that
the child is the father of the man, until we come face to face with maladjusted and
dysfunctional adults, and then we ask ourselves – “how can this be happening?”
If I may engage the vernacular, “how he or she behaving so?” I have said before,
that seeking to deal exclusively with the proverbial bolted horse is counter-productive.
Our prisons are filled with bolted horses. Our neighbourhoods are being overrun by them.
During my legal career I have seen the results of too little too late.
It all begins when one of these little ones becomes cynical, when the realization,
wrong or right, hits, that adults don’t care. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the beginning
of the end, and the birth of a potential criminal. If children are our future,
then we run the risk of becoming architects of our own demise unless we do something about
our social issues. It has to start somewhere with someone.
I was very pleased to see the work that the Children’s Ark has embarked upon.
They are working in the Beetham assisting a pre-school; in Tobago they have helped the
differently-abled with the Healing with Horses Project; Goodwill Industries has received
a much needed bus for its differently-abled students; and soon they will start to bring the
children of inmates into prison so that the parents and children can read together and
most important of all, bond as a family. It may not seem like much to some, but I guarantee
that it will make a positive difference and continue to make a positive difference.
If we can show just one child that there are people who care, if we can save that child
from feelings of social abandonment, if we can bring back a sense of family to the life of a child,
we would have potentially saved a life, and by extension, create purpose and ambition.
However, to borrow from the Bible, “the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few”.
There are many children who need saving, and I am gratified to see caring members of our community,
individuals and the corporate world, giving support to this venture. In this regard, I wish to
particularly address the corporate world, and emphasize to them the need for even greater social
support in the form of Corporate Social Responsibility. (I have to confess that I am pleased to be
here, not only as patron but as a lover of cricket and I am in the presence of West Indian
cricket icons: Sir Gary Sobers, Ambassador Brian Lara, and Ambassador Daren Ganga
who have given yeoman service to West Indies cricket.)
The Children’s Ark is one group which is laboring affirmatively in the vineyard.
The true effects of their contribution are not going to be felt now. They will become apparent ten,
fifteen years down the road. Until then, we have to be content with the joy that their efforts
are bringing to under-privileged and differently-abled children everywhere.
I urge you therefore to continue to support the Children’s Ark. I am told that there is a
silent auction for some autographed bats so I ask that you put on your pads, go out to the pitch.
Your Excellences The President of The Rep. of T&T
Mr. Anthony Carmona and Mrs. Rema Carmona
Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Kenrick Maharaj
Former Chief Justice Michael de la Bastide
Wife of the former President of T&T Dr. Jean Ramjohn Richards
Justice Anthony Lucky & Mrs. Lucky
Judges of the High Court
Sir Gary Sobers
Colleagues of The Children’s Ark, Distinguished Ladies & Gentlemen,
Members of the Media.
This grand event today is particularly fitting as The Children’s Ark was officially
launched on Oct 19th of last year, making this our first anniversary and we are particularly
elated, at the tremendous turnout and support. Thank you all very much for being here.
We especially welcome Their Excellences’, as well as Sir Gary Sobers,
Brian Lara and Daren Ganga. Thank you for supporting our ‘cause’.
The Children’s Ark is a non-profit, registered charitable organisation that seeks
the interest of challenged, marginalized and impoverished children within T&T.
At this time, we are particularly targeting, children who are “at risk”
in high crime prone areas.
With a decaying society, fraught with anger, violence, drugs, crime and frustration,
children are the most vulnerable to abuse of all sorts, physical, sexual and mental.
We see and hear about it almost every day in our beloved country.
Many of these innocent young children have an unstable family life, if any at all,
with no foundation with which to build upon. They lack proper direction, and unless positive
lifestyle changes are offered now, especially at preschool level, too many will
fall victim to societal ills.
I recently walked through the Beetham with Wayne Jordan and with Ira Mathur,
who wanted to write an article in the newspapers. I have been through the
Beetham a few times but this time it was different: we encountered three groups of
residents - young teenage boys who were eager to talk with us, probably because
Wayne was with us, I am uncertain but they spoke about their life, turf
and boundaries and the dangers of crossing those boundaries, the parents who were
absent and one who said he was looking to get out. The other group was of three young
pregnant women playing cards on an old table resting on a mud floor,
there were no smiles but one could see the hardship on their faces, while we
wondered about those unborn babies and what chances they would have in life.
Then we came across a group of worn, elderly women, who were pleasant and spoke highly of
Wayne. We then went into a small old house where an old tired lady was looking after her
very handicapped son, lying on the floor in a 4 x 8 room. Everywhere there was struggle.
Ladies and gentlemen, again, unless positive lifestyle changes are introduced,
this will continue from generation to generation. So we ask you, help us to help
them and others like Wayne Jordan, a dynamic young man who opened two preschools in
the Beetham over the last 20 years. Whether you contribute, $1000, $100,000 or
1 million (not much money by today’s standards) every dollar goes towards our projects,
for the benefit of children in need.
You will note that one of our recent projects was Wayne’s ‘Each One Teach One’
preschool on 12th St. Beetham. Through The Children’s Ark, they were supplied with a
significant amount of educational books and working material.
Special children’s furniture was made through Servol and with the help of the Army
Reserve, through Capt. Leslie Ann Mohammed, under the direction of Capt. Kent More (N) they
received new bathroom facilities, kitchen, tiling, and masonry work etc., almost a complete
overhaul, all for the benefit of the children.
There is much more that we would like to do and we ask you to please support the
Children’s Ark. Recently we engaged the Daren Ganga Foundation in a discussion
regarding the possibility of a sport program for the youth, in such an area.
Finally, I must mention that we have since introduced a subcommittee called
“Friends of the Ark”, a great support base of professional
and semi-professional people, who support our ‘cause’ and who recognize
the need to get involved and help where possible, these marginalized, challenged and
deprived young people in Trinidad & Tobago. In the short space of time they have
made their mark and have done much to assist in many ways: a special thank you to them.
I end by quoting one of our Board members, Justice Gillian Lucky, who is unfortunately
absent, as she says:
“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 of those citizens who generally want a better future for all of
our young people, to cone on board the ark through donations and sponsorship of
projects of The Children’s Ark.”
I thank you...
SIMONE DE LA BASTIDE
THE CHILDREN’S ARK
The Children's Ark Launch
Date: October 19, 2013
Time: 6:00 pm
Venue: The Hyatt Regency