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The children's day begins at 6:30 a.m. when they are roused from sleep by the attendants whom the children refer to as "mummy" or "auntie". This is in keeping with the desire to provide a family type environment for these young charges. Prayer soon follows and staff and children kneel and pray as a family.

Breakfast at 7:30 is served with the help of older children after which it is time to get ready for school at 9:00 a.m. which last three hours, after which it is time for lunch at noon . Evenings are free between lunch and supper and may be spent outside. Friday nights are eagerly anticipated at Cyril Ross.

This is the night they are allowed to stay up a little longer, watch TV and feast on popcorn or some other snack. Visits to the nearby Constantine Park or Auzonville Park are also special as these offer the children wide open spaces to tumble and play. There is also the occasional excursion including the beach.

The prospect of an early and painful death has not diminished the children's zest for living. In the sounds of their laughter and cries at play, one hears all the music of a happy home. But what marks these children, despite their horrendous beginnings is their extraordinary innocence.

The most ordinary experiences become occasions of discovery. John tells the story of when the children felt rain. Says John "I ran out one rainy day, to talk to someone at the gate and left the front door open. Then I heard laughing and clapping behind me."

She turned around to discover that the children had followed her and were now dancing about in the rain which surprisingly, they were experiencing for the first time. Part of the strategy at Cyril Ross therefore aims at constantly exposing the children to new experiences.

This lack of exposure has also marked them in other ways. The two oldest children who spent most of their years in a hospital ward, today find difficulty expressing themselves. Deprived of much needed interaction with adults, their language and communication skills are now underdeveloped. Unfortunately, this is just one of the many deprivations the children have had to endure.

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Cyril Ross Nursery
Nazareth House
Nazareth Halfway Facility
Archbishop Finbar Ryan Geriatric Home
Audrey Mollineau House
Home for the Aged
San Fernando
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