Double-Olympic medallist, Keshorn Walcott, brought smiles to the faces of children at Bridge of Hope Children’s Home as he personally assisted with the purchase and distribution of back-to-school supplies via bmobile’s 2018 Book Buddies Programme.
Approximately 15 children of the Sangre Chiquito-based institution – ranging from Pre-School to Standard Three – were beneficiaries of this year’s Book Buddies Programme which saw stationery, textbooks, book bags and craft items voluntarily sponsored by employees and Keshorn Walcott.
Prior to the presentation, Walcott mingled with the receptive bunch by participating in drawing and reading activities. The Toco-born athlete also took part in a friendly game of Snake and Ladders with three young lads. However, he was unable to utilise his athletic abilities this time around, thus succumbing to defeat against the excited juveniles.
Walcott, who is now on a break from his hectic competitive schedule, was excited to partner with bmobile and acknowledged the selfless actions of TSTT employees who pooled together their financial resources to provide over 140 children from 13 Homes with a fair chance to empower themselves through education.
“I always enjoy teaming up with bmobile in instances such as these because it’s really beneficial for the kids,” he explained. “It’s a privilege to give back and I must say, hats off to the employees who, year-after-year, sacrifice their time and money to ensure these children have a future.”
The seasoned athlete admitted that interacting with the children provided him with the right start to his off-season. “I like to hang around them because it distracts me from reality. These books though will create a foundation for the children going forward. The Homes won’t be able to keep them under their wings forever. This is why these supplies afford them something more stable to move on with.”
Students of Bridge of Hope have been long-time benefactors of bmobile’s annual Book Buddies Programme, which is now in its 9th year. Chief caregiver at the Home, Carol Elizabeth Rennie, expressed delight with Programme’s aim to educate less fortunate children and was also grateful that the initiative has maintained continuity.
“We depend on charity and public-giving to provide the kids with a more comfortable life. Through this initiative, bmobile plays an important role in the lives of these children,” Rennie declared.
“We see the learning, the development and the challenges. As caregivers, it gives us the joy to see the kids move from one level to another. In the end, we, as administrators see the greater good that programmes such as these provide. There’s no better way to overcome the obstacles placed in front of you than by gaining a sound education and we are thankful to bmobile for also easing this financial burden for us.”
As the youngsters eagerly peeked into their brand-new school bags smiling ear to ear, a true feeling of hope and a desire to learn blanketed their humble abode. The kids showed off their fresh stationery and laughed amongst themselves as their excitement overflowed.
Meanwhile, Marsha Caballero, TSTT’s Vice President of Corporate Communications, reiterated the importance of bmobile’s corporate responsibility to do its part in educating and elevating the nation’s youth.
“It is imperative that we, as an organisation, give back to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. Education is one of our key pillars at the bmobile Foundation. Every child, no matter which circumstance they arise from, must be allowed to pursue an education. It is their right,” said Caballero.
“We are committed to ensuring the Book Buddies Programme continues because of the direct and personal role it plays in the lives of the hundreds of kids we have sponsored over the past years. Much kudos must go out to our staff and our Brand Ambassadors, Keshorn Walcott and Dwayne Bravo, who have given generously and whole-heartedly to support this cause.”