Just as they promised, officials of Angostura and the Coosal Group of Companies visited the Boodram orphans at their unfinished Penal home yesterday, with material and supplies.
The children, Ravi, 12, Meera, 18 and Raveena, 21, tugged at the hearts of thousands of people after their story was highlighted exclusively by Guardian Media last Friday.
Early yesterday, Rahim Mohammed, executive manager of Corporate Services at Angostura and Coosal general manager Operations Glenn Mahabirsingh visited the children and promised to do everything to complete construction of their home.
Mohammed said once electricals are completed, they will see whether the house could be furnished from within their asset pool. He said Angostura will liaise with T&TEC to ensure that a pole could be taken onto the property to facilitate electricity.
Mohammed said the resilience of the children was something which Angostura was proud of.
“To see an 11-year-old and an 18-year-old doing this for themselves. This is what we promoted, what we see as the resilience and strength of our T&T people. We are very proud to see what these children have done here on their own. Everyone needs some level of support,” Mohammed said.
Mohammed also said they were interested in the family’s educational needs.
Asked whether Angostura planned to heed a call for corporate T&T to assist underprivileged children with laptops, Mohammed said this was being discussed.
“We are in the midst of a discussion that we will get laptops with proper specs for the children. They have correct hardware in the devices so they can do their schoolwork in a comfortable manner,” Mohammed said.
Asked how many devices will be provided, Mohammed said, “We are working through our budgets to see what we can afford to do and we should, this week, make an announcement formally in terms of the schools we are supporting.”
Already, the company is sponsoring five secondary and ten primary schools in its fenceline communities of Morvant and Laventille.
Meanwhile, Mahabirsingh said all construction of the Boodram’s home will be financed by Coosal. He said Angostura will finance the electrical work.
“We are pleased to partner with Angostura for the building materials. Housing is a critical need and Coosals Group of Companies is pleased to provide materials to make this dream a reality for these children,” Mahabirsingh said.
He said his company was also doing an assessment to see what could be donated to underprivileged children across T&T.
“We are still exploring that in terms of if we have used devices or expired devices from the organisation,” Mahabirsingh said.
Meanwhile, Meera said she has been assisting Ravi with his schoolwork although he has not attended any online classes since the start of the new term.
“With online classes, he is unable to receive any online classes. They made a group chat with the group and they send the work on the group chat and I teach him his work,” Meera said.
The family hit the public spotlight last week when they revealed that they were kicked out of their childhood home by relatives after their mother died in February from an autoimmune disorder. Their father died five years ago. Their grandmother Sheila Baal took them in but because of her age, she decided to donate two lots of land to them so they could build their own home.
A neighbour placed their story on Facebook and wellwishers started donating construction materials.
Brandon Peterson and his son Damien, a student of Siparia East Secondary School, recently started constructing the house with the aid of the siblings.