Our third project is the supply to Goodwill Industries, a long standing, recognized Vocational school with over 193 students for the mentally and physically challenged, a new Mitsubishi 30- seat bus, of which they are in dire need.
Over the last 5 – 6 years, 10 of the females have been physically/sexually abused, either by maxi ‘touts’ or villains, who often take advantage of their inability to recognize risk of harm, when they are either returning to or from their homes or attending an event organized by Goodwill Industries.
Brought to the attention of The Children’s Ark by Alyssa Achong Low, a ‘Friend of the Ark’, The Board recognized the urgent need for the bus, therefore creating a more organized and safer mode of transport for these secial needs students and hopefully putting an end this very serious problem.
We eventually secured a waiver from the Ministry of Finance on the duties and taxes, as well as a generous and significant cut in the final cost of the bus from the Agent. Upon request, The Children’s Ark raised the required amount of TT $200,570.00 from a wonderful supporter.
The Board is indeed grateful to the many people who helped us make this a success.
On Feb 9th, 2015, members of The Board of The Children’s Ark handed over a new 30 seat Mitsubishi bus to Goodwill Industries for the safe transportation of the challenged students of Goodwill.
In attendance were many students of Goodwill Industries who showed their excitement on entering the bus. Barbara Alleyne, CEO of Goodwill, Dr. Mitra Sinanan, President of Goodwill, Dr.Kongshiek Achong Low, April Bermudez and President of The Children’s Ark Simone de la Bastide, Friend of the Ark, Dhisha Moorjani and Diamond Motors Manager Mr. Aldrin Roget also attended.
Dr. Sinanan thanked The Children’s Ark for their grand donation of the new bus and for choosing Goodwill Industries. The CEO, Barbara Alleyne spoke to the children and likened the Ark to that of Noah’s Ark. She said “God used the Ark to save his people and when you get on the new bus, see the Ark and remember the story. She thanked the Children’s Ark for their generous donation.
Dr. Achong Low spoke of the terrible plight the students often encountered by using the public transport and how the Children’s Ark saw the great need of supplying the bus. The President of The Children’s Ark, Simone de la Bastide spoke of the work that the organization had been doing over the past year and thanked the contributors, Diamond Motors, who gave the Ark a most generous reduction on the cost of the bus and the Government who waived all taxes and duties on the bus. It was noted that the original cost of the bus was just TT $600,000.00 and with all the deductions, The Children’s Ark raised the balance needed. She also thanked their special supporter who contributed over $ 200,000.00 towards the cost of the bus.
A happy and remarkable occasion for Goodwill Industries and also for The Children’s Ark.
The video of the hand over of the bus was recorded by CNC 3 television and featured on their newscast.