Social activities are arranged for the children by the
management, staff, volunteers, friends of the home, corporate
citizens to name a few; and could include large groups
of the children, small groups or even just individuals.
They are taken to sporting activities,
nature expeditions, social gatherings, the beach, cinema,
parties and are also invited to the homes of individuals
to spend some time. The older children also do most of
their shopping for personal items with little or no supervision
while the younger ones are taught how to make purchases.
They are also introduced to grocery
and market shopping and are encouraged to pay the various
bills for the home, eg. the phone bill. The older children
are also encouraged to open a savings account for themselves
which is closely monitored by management.
Several children are seen by a clinical psychologist once
weekly for specific problems, while others are awaiting
It is our hope that all our children be assessed
and their psychological needs be catered to as soon as
can be arranged. A psychiatrist also is available upon
request for assessment if required.
Transportation costs are of course astronomical. Some
of these costs are defrayed by the Secretariat for the
hired maxi taxi for the primary school children; St. Joseph
SVP Conference; the Curepe SVP Conference and several donors
who assist whenever possible.
We however always remain
with a shortfall of several hundred dollars a month. An
absolute necessity for the home therefore, is a bus and
Tragedy wears faces, but none so compelling as that of
a child. The thirty-five (35) children of the Cyril Ross
Children's Home for children with HIV/AIDS have already
had more than their fair share of tragedy.
The Home is
situated on two lots of land at El Dorado Road Tunapuna,
initially donated to the Catholic Church in 1958. Run
by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul , it is named after
Fr. Cyril Ross, former parish priest of Tunapuna and
former Seminary Rector.
Originally, the facility operated as a Day Care centre
for children of the working poor of the Macoya area and
a nominal fee was charged for child care services. However,
as the Trinidad and Tobago economy began the long slide
into recession, an increasing number of parents were laid
off and the Centre fell into disuse.
Meanwhile the AIDS pandemic exploded in the late 70's
and early 80's.
In the face of this situation,
the Society of St. Vincent de Paul , in keeping with
its mission statement to "befriend
and minister to the poor as Christ did", turned its considerable
energies towards the creation of a residential facility
for the custody and care of children infected with HIV/AIDS
and whose parents may have died.