Gayle Allick Solomon, TSTT’s Chief Legal Counsel and Corporate Secretary, presents one of the backpacks to a representative from the SWAHA Vishok Bhavan Children’s Home. Thanks to the generosity of TSTT employees, 10 children from SWAHA Vishok Bhavan returned to school fully equipped to tackle the challenges of the new academic year.
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad – September 5, 2019
TSTT employees rallied once again behind their annual Book Buddies drive to donate over $150,000 in textbooks and school supplies to 13 Children’s Homes across Trinidad and Tobago.
The generosity of these employees and partners made it possible for over 130 youngsters to return to school fully equipped for the new academic year, having received their full complement of back-to-school supplies.
On Wednesday 28 August at TSTT’s headquarters on Edward Street, Port-of-Spain, eager representatives from each Home were all-smiles as they were presented with individualised back-to-school packages which comprised of textbooks, notebooks, stationery, book bags and other necessities for school.
Representatives from the Bridge of Hope Children’s Home, Raffa House and Rainbow Rescue receive Book Buddies packages from TSTT’s Gayle Allick Solomon (3rd from left) and Amplia’s Mickal Pierre (left) and Rianne Sinanan (2nd from right).
TSTT’s Book Buddies Programme, now in its 10th year, provides its management and staff with an opportunity to volunteer time and contribute financially to less fortunate children through the sponsorship of academic supplies. Since its inception, it has not only greatly assisted youngsters on their journey towards academic excellence, but also helped build teamwork and camaraderie within the workplace.
“The Book Buddies Programme warms my heart every year as co-workers come together to give these kids a head start on their education,” revealed Gayle Allick Solomon, Chief Legal Counsel and Corporate Secretary at TSTT. “We believe that initiatives such as these provide a stepping stone for our nation’s future leaders as they are being fitted with the tools they need to succeed at life. Many of them may not have had that opportunity before. From the feedback we’ve been getting from the Homes, the kids are also overjoyed to open new book bags and begin browsing through their textbooks and supplies for the new year. The opportunity to bring smiles to their faces while supporting their academic pursuits keeps us going.”
Upon receipt of multiple overflowing book bags, Brian Jones, director at Raffa House, expressed great pleasure with the annual gesture from the communication solutions provider. Raffa House has been a long-time recipient of TSTT’s Book Buddies Programme and heaped praises on those employees who gave generously for such a worthy cause.
“We have been recipients of the Book Buddies Programme for quite a while and it has gone a long way into the academic development of our youngsters. TSTT has gone way beyond the call of duty and we are very grateful. This initiative continues to be a life-changing act annually. What the employees of TSTT do for these children through this is immeasurable,” he added.
Nakesha Quamina, an official of St. Dominic’s Children’s Home (Belmont), shared similar sentiments and also highlighted the incremental price of textbooks the institutions would have been forced to pay if it weren’t for the intervention of TSTT’s kind-hearted management and staff.
“School books are expensive. Through this programme, TSTT has made a significant impact on lessening the financial burden on all these institutions here today. It is a wonderful initiative to give these children what they need to succeed. The fact that employees buy the supplies makes it more meaningful to us as well. Kudos to them,” explained Quamina.
Amplia Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of TSTT, also got involved with the charitable initiative for the first time to give the gift of education and build stronger communities. Along with Amplia, Double-Olympic medallist and bmobile brand Ambassador, Keshorn Walcott, once again played an active role in this year’s initiative by fulfilling the book lists of all the children from the Bridge of Hope Children’s Home in Sangre Chiquito.
Beneficiary Homes of this year’s Book Buddies Programme were St. Dominics Children’s Home, Credo Development Centre, Rainbow Rescue, Bridge of Hope, Joshua Boys, Amica House, Raffa House, Swaha Vishok Bhavan, Islamic Home for Children, Marian House, Ferndean’s Children’s home, Margaret Kistow Children’s Home and Sylphil Home of Love, Tobago.
TSTT’s Gayle Allick Solomon engages a smiling Kirwin Samuel, Social Worker at Rainbow Rescue, and Mary Maxim from Marian House for an update on the recipients of last year’s programme.
And off they go!
A representative from Ferndean’s Children’s Home cracks a smile as she makes her way to load her vehicle