Thursday, 14 August 2014
EIGHTEEN interns from energy Company BP Trinidad and Tobago rolled up their sleeves for the company’s annual intern outreach project at the Lady Hochoy Home in Gasparillo. During the months of July and August, the interns refurnished and decorated a room to serve as a library that could be sustained for the long-term growth, safety and welfare of the children at the home.
BPTT’s internship programmme employs students in Trinidad and Tobago entering their final year of studies in universities, at home and abroad. The outreach project is an integral component of their internship. They are in charge of choosing the outreach project, raising funds, doing the actual work and treat the project as a way of ‘giving back’ to the community.
The various phases of the Lady Hochoy Home project included the installation of carpeting, painting of the walls, installation of safety posters, two rolling bookshelves and providing an assortment of pillows. ZsiZsi Joseph, a Geology student at the UWI Mona Campus, explained: “It’s fulfilling, it’s a home that I have been affiliated with in the past and it’s good to see how our project is helping them.”
Carrying out their own fundraisers within bpTT, the interns were able to raise enough funds to refurbish and decorate the children’s library, participating in all aspects of the project such as painting, carpeting, shelving and decorating.
Christian Homer, the petro-physicist intern and a Geology student at the University of Florida, described his experience: “It’s enlightening and humbling to be a part of a team assisting the children by beautifying the library space and making it a place they want to be.” Homer added that working on the project underscored the value of planning and working with deadlines.
At a simple handing-over ceremony on Thursday, August 7, the interns realised the fruits of their labour as the children at the home were able to enjoy their refurbished space. The children showed their appreciation by singing “Happy” by Pharrell and “We are the World” by Michael Jackson.
The interns then spent the time reading and talking with the jubilant children. The afternoon was filled with wide, bright eyes and laughter all around; the youngsters were pleased to have a comfortable and safe library to spend their time.
Sister Antoinette Fahey, superintendent at the home, called the completion of the library ‘a dream come true’. “We’ve been saving penny by penny to try to make this project possible. Reading is the foundation and stepping stone to better opportunities,” Sister Fahey explained.
An invitation was made to all that the gates at the Lady Hochoy Home, Gasparillo, are always open to come and read with the children.
Describing their involvement in the project as a great personal experience, the bpTT interns are encouraging members of the public to aid the home in whatever way possible, by way of donation of clothes and foodstuff, learning aids, or even better, giving of their time to visit the wonderful children.