Mothers’ Union Children’s Home Fundraiser
Let me start by saying thanks for reading this. Those of you who know me, will know this is not my usual lane but I’m here because I was so moved by this situation that I was compelled to act.
The Mother’s Union is an international religious organisation with members all over the world. It was started in 1876 and is active in 84 countries. Each branch does charitable work based on the needs of its community. Some of these include:
- Healthcare and health education
- Supporting impoverished families
- Caring for the elderly
- Supporting victims of domestic violence
- Literacy programmes
- Supporting victims of human trafficking
- Supporting orphans
The branch in Trinidad and Tobago (where I was born) among other things, runs a children’s home. This home was meant to be a temporary place designed to administer to the immediate needs of disadvantaged children, where they could be supported in a nurturing environment. To date, this home has housed over one hundred children.
I was first made aware of this home on a visit to Trinidad 2 years ago, where I had the opportunity to meet the kids and some of the staff. I didn’t have any concerns at the time because my understanding was that it was a temporary home and it was clear the kids had the basics (food, clothes, care and a safe environment). But on my last visit back in Aug 19, I was shocked to see the same kids. And at this point I had lots more questions.
All homes of this kind are regulated by the Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago and they refer all the kids. Children are brought to the home for a multitude of reasons, such as being abandoned, victims of abuse or those who’s parents may be receiving institutional care or have been incarcerated. The Mothers Union generates approximately 60% of the funds to run the home through donations. The staff is passionate about the children’s wellbeing, but need further opportunity to gain up to date training in order to best meet the specific needs of these kids.
So why am I fund raising?
The children should leave the home by age 12 but many of them don’t. Those who remain continue to struggle with emotional trauma. Although they have the basics, they do not have access to extra services which would help them thrive. Educational supports such as having a tutor to do homework with them daily, having the means and transportation to attend after school activities and most importantly, access to additional specialised mental health care.
And that’s where I’d like to start – with the mental health care. I have already found a clinical psychologist based in Trinidad who has assessed the children and the carers and proposed a package she believes will best serve the kids needs. This includes:
- Psychological assessments
- Psycho-educational assessments
- Psychopathology screening
- Staff training
This will cost approximately $5,000 US dollars and will go a long way in helping the children begin to heal from their difficult past. Every dollar raised will go directly to this specific project.
Meeting these children and forming a connection with them has moved me to help. Thank you for helping me to do what I can for these kids.
(On behalf of the children at the Mother’s Union Children’s Home)