The Bridge of Hope Children’s Home at Sangre Chiquito has been attracting attention from people both nationally and internationally.
Dr Subesh Ramjattan, founder, director and chief executive officer said the home has now attained world-class status as institutions here and abroad are recognising the work being done.
Organisations from Canada and America, he said, come to the home annually to make financial contributions, teach the children and share their experiences with them. He said the children become so attached to the caregivers who give them love and care that they cry when they are leaving.
"The institution is polluted with an atmosphere of love and care," Ramjattan said.
The caregivers, on the other hand, "leave with a wealth of experience from children of varied culture and ethnicity."
Ramjattan was speaking on Tuesday when businessman Sieunarine Coosal, his son, Rajiv and others toured the home and presented the administrators with a cheque. The founder and his financial director, Anil Ramdin were on hand on receive the cheque.
Coosal visited the kitchen where 125 meals are prepared daily by chief chef Nazima Roopsingh and her staff to feed the children.
Coosal also met with some of the little ones where he expressed his care and love, shook their hands and gave them hugs. He also visited the pre-school where he met with pupils engaging in their daily activities.
It was an eye opening experience for Coosal and his entourage when they went into the Orientation/Family Room gifted by Tony Ramtahalsingh and family and saw 13 babies, ages two to six months, lying in their cribs, some sleeping, some awake.
Some of these babies were reported abandoned by their mothers at the Sangre Grande Hospital while others were taken by the Children’s Authority and sent to the home because parents were either drug addicts or faced some unfortunate circumstances.
After the initial shock, they held and played with the babies.
Ministry officials, doctors and nurses visit the Bridge of Hope regularly to ensure the babies are healthy.
Ramjattan thanked Coosal for not only contributing financially since the inception of Bridge of Hope in 1993, but also for continuing to pave around the facility. Coosal said he was impressed with the facility and efforts of the hard working staff.
The institution houses 33 children and has a staff of 22 employees. One third of the funding comes from the Government while the rest comes from generous businesses and individuals.
Ramjattan said Bridge of Hope has been partnering with other organisation such as Women's clubs and UWI which have been providing academic, vocational, social, recreational and other opportunities to the home.
Anna Marie Morris, administrative head at Bridge of Hope, they receive calls daily from all over the country to have children placed at the home, but said it was "filled to capacity."
This shows the impact the Bridge of Hope is having on children, she said, many of whom have graduated and are now working.