Read about our Carnival 2012, and all things coming up at St. Dominics Childrens Home.
The Management of St Dominic's Children's Home has undertaken the task of providing staff with in-house training in keeping with Management's thrust to equip staff with organization-relevant training. One area that requires on-hand expertise is First Aid Training. In partnering with the professional service provider Jaric Environment Safety and Health Services Limited., management was able to give professsional training in Pediatric First Aid with certification in both First Aid and CPR. Over a period of five months a total of sixty-seven staff members from all work areas, including Caregivers, Trade Instructors, A.E.P. Teachers, Maintenace and Stores staff, were trained. Each training module occurred over an intensive two day period from 8.30a.m. to 4.30p.m. Jaric's trainer, Mr. Roger Bowen, trained about fifteen staff each month. At the completion phase a graduation excercise was held on Friday 4th Naovember where each staff received certification in US National Safety Council First Aid, CPR and AED Training Program. Certification is valid for three and two years period respectively.
Another event was the party at Brian Lara’s house where the children had fun time.
The Girls from St. Dominic's Children Home at the party in Brian Lara's House.
The first Posada was held in St. Dominic’s Children’s Home which represents the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem looking for a place for the birth of our Lord Jesus. After the posada we broke piñatas and the children got a lot of candy.
Thanks to all the people who in someway made the Christmas 2011 holidays very special for our children.
Graduation of the CSP participants took place on July 07th, 2011. Two class streams of staff graduated from the course that was facilitated by trainers provided through the Family Life Commission - an NGO with responsibility for the promotion of family life education within this archdiocese. A Girls' and Boys' Town programme, CSP is an instructional course meant to provide caregivers with the skills to ‘parent’ effectively. It emphasizes use of both the ‘head’ and the ‘heart’ in teaching skills and behavior modification techniques. It also emphasizes the value of relationship between the caregiver/parent and the child.
Mrs. Coreen Jackman, a CSP graduate, Ms. Jenna Samaroo and
Mrs. Shareeda Narsiah.
St. Dominic’s Children’s Home Partnership in Parenting, values its parent support group because it offers several advantages. Whenever families and significant persons with the same concerns meet, it provides mutually needed information and emotional support. The group creates a sense of community where members can talk about the problems that they are faced with, share about their experiences and laugh about good times. Group members are able to talk openly with others in the same situation and brainstorm for realistic solutions which results in an educational and therapeutic effect.
Mrs.Coreen Jackman, Mrs.Meera Ramdeen Dookhoo and Parents having their manicures.
Mrs Phyllis Willams Morrison and Parents having their pedicures..
On Wednesday 27th July 2011, members of SDCHPiP and their children were treated to manicures, pedicures, facials and make over. SDCHPiP understands the importance of taking time out to care for oneself. This self care session communicated that members are important and that their needs are important, too, and that taking time to care for yourself regularly can make you a better caregiver for others. One parent expressed that this was the first time she was treated special by anyone, whilst others shared that the occasion was relaxing and contributed to feelings of wellbeing.
The Management of S.D.CH. wishes to thank Mrs. Darryl Corbie ( cosmetology ) and her students of Warrenville Regional Compler for their hospitality and kind service.
'We Does Draw' visits the Shalom Centre
On the 30th of July, Shalom had a visit from 'We Does Draw'. This group of artists took on the huge task of beautifying the walls in and around the Shalom Centre while simultaneously teaching the children of the Home about mural art. This was a great and novel experience for all involved. The children learnt about new forms of art while assisting artists with their murals and some children even got the opportunity to work on the walls themselves with minimal supervision from the artists.
Art ranged from abstract to realistic using the mediums of markers and spray, acrylic, poster and emulsion paint. The children involved ranged from age five to eighteen and even the Shalom staff got a chance to show their artistic abilities. By the end of the day, every child had an opportunity to leave their own distinct, creative mark on the Shalom walls - making it now not just a place for the children but also a place created by them.
Retreat week in Guayaguayare
There have been many spiritual preparation days each month leading towards the World Youth Day pilgrimage in Spain. However, the Shalom Centre decided to host a week long retreat in Guayaguayare to truly cement this process. It started on the Sunday 17th July, 2011 and finished on Saturday 23rd July, 2011. All of the twelve pilgrims attended the retreat along with some of the adults accompanying them to Spain, joined by Carmelite priest, Father Hasley King.
Mass on the beach.
The purpose of the retreat was to help teach fundamentals about the Catholic religion and to help renew their faith - in keeping with the theme of the World Youth Day which is about being firmly rooted in the faith and Jesus Christ. Our Guaya retreat therefore consisted of daily mass, spiritual teachings with topics on the Seven Sacraments, Salvation History and Mariology to name a few, as well as introductions to old and new styles or prayer.
Father Hasley King teaches the youth about their faith.
The day began from the time the sun rose with exercise routines to awaken the body as well as the spirit and ended with meditation and prayer - around a bonfire on some nights. It served its purpose in renewing the faith and helped equip the young people with answers about their faith. The experience was definitely one that was thoroughly enjoyed by all of the youth, and the adults as well. Now we have been left with several requests from the youth for a second retreat following our return from Spain. This one we’ll have to take some time to consider.
Our Group of Young Dominicans, in prayer around a bonfire.
On 23rd July 2011 the ‘Viva Catholica!’ youth rally took place on San Fernando Hill. The event was a send off for World Youth Day pilgrims who will be journeying to Spain from August 7th to 24th 2011. The event was also dubbed 'Solidarity II' after the solidarity event that took place three years ago on the Hill. At the event Archbishop of Port of Spain Edward Gilbert commissioned the pilgrims to go forth and be representatives of the Catholic faith.
St. Dominic's Children Home.
"Planted and built up in Jesus Christ.¨
On their return the pilgrims of St. Dominic´s Children´s Home have shared their great experiences at WYD.
They had a Thanksgiving mass at St Dominic's Chapel on Sunday 4th September. They said thank you for a safe and fruitful trip to Spain and back.
They shared this moment with benefactors, friends and all those who supported these young people in their participation for WYD.
Adrian Trummel Downes
I just want to say thank you to all those who sponsored us in many ways for us being on that wonderful trip to Spain. The experience in Spain was amazing...it really was beneficial to me. We went to Catecesis classes where we learned how to be friendly and how to stay strong in our faith and not let anyone confuse me. I also learned that God will always be by my side through difficulties. Sometimes people ask 'Why God did this to me?' but we have to remember God does everything for a purpose and he had choosen me to go to Spain for a purpose and it really worked for me. I want to say thank you to the children who voted me in and to Sr. Arlene for this privilege you have given to me.
I learnt more about my faith, for example, if you can not do something God is always there for you.
World Youth Day in Spain, Madrid was the greatest and I appreciate every moment of it, meeting other people from around the world and also attending WYD was so exciting. I never thought I would meet the amount of people who were in Spain for a reason which is believing in the Lord, God our savoir and creator. WYD also helped me do more reflections than I did before. Singing chants was an incredible feeling but when you sang you felt that joy flowing through your whole body and that made you feel like you could go all day no matter how tired you were.
The touching thing for me was my host family. They really touched everyone's hearts.
I benefited a lot from this trip because I got to met people from around the world like France, South Africa, Jamaica and Brazil. Now I can actually answer questions about the Catholic Church. I can also answer questions about St. Dominic because while in Spain I got the chance to visit Caleregua, where St. Dominic himself was born and grew up. I really enjoyed my trip it was one of the most beautiful things that ever happened to me.
Kareem Ding Chong
The benefit of my trip was my faith. You have the right to be proud. With Jesus is in the Holy Eucharist you can stand up firm for what you believe in.
Adrian Trummel Downes
It was the best experience I ever had. We were exposed to different catholic cultures, and I became more spiritual (in terms of learning more about my faith.) I learned that love is the strongest thing.
On April 10th, 2011 the mutual support group Partnership in Parenting [PiP] started its Parent Education Programme. PiP aims to equip parents with easy to learn techniques which can be used to address issues of communication, decision –making, relationship building, self - care and self- control just to name a few. Parents will be awarded Certificates at the end of the program which consist of eight sessions.
“The discussions in the parenting group are intended to compliment the counselling the children receive at the St. Dominic’s Children’s Home. The topics are based on challenges parents have identified. This holistic approach allows growth and development to occur in both the children and the parental subsystems and facilitates eventual reunification that is as seamless as possible.” - Mrs. Pearl Brown, Family Therapist, Mediator & Parent Educator.
“I would like to thank the Management of St. Dominic’s Home, this is really good. My child receives all the help that he needs right here and I always tell him that I love him, and that he should be respectful. This group will help us parents to cope.”
- Shirley Cunin, Parent.
“Growth and development in parents is what I see as parents utilize the skills learnt to effectively communicate with their children and caregivers.
- Mrs. Coreen Jackman, Facilitator, Social Welfare Officer.
Mrs. Pearl Brown, Family Therapist/Mediator at a PiP Meeting
Parents taking in a PiP session
Over the course of the last five months the house has seen many changes. Two of our boys left our beloved SDCH to begin the next chapter of their lives: one returning to family and the other placed at Marian House. We also had the pleasure of celebrating one birthday so far but we look forward to the birthday’s to come.
This year for the July/August holidays all the boys on the programme will be going out to work. We experimented with this last year and it was a very successful venture. Each boy bought a pair of sneakers for school with money they acquired from working. In the first half of the year we also did a retreat with the boys at the Youth Commision's retreat house in Guayaguayare. The boys caught crabs and we made crab and dumplings. This year we are hoping to take the boys to Guaya again for some more psycho-spiritual work.
- Jenna Samaroo, Programme Manager
‘Because We’re Alternative’
Currently within our first year since moving to another building, we meet with numerous challenges but 'Because We’re Alternative', we face it, and continue - with success our intent - to overcome all difficulties.
In spite of their social and academic problems, we reach the pupils in our care - 'Because We’re Alternative'. With use of non-traditional methods we accomplish our goals and assist pupils in accomplishing their's - 'Because We’re Alternative'.
Entering one of our own, someone unable to speak, into the Home's Carnival Extravaganza 2011 we won a calypso [singing] competition - 'Because We’re Alternative'. No pencils, we write with pens. No pens we write with chalk. No chalk we write with our fingers in sand - 'Because We’re Alternative'.
Our continued focus this term is on Health and Safety, teaching all aspects of it through the use of character qualities. Yes, how does the concept of joy, kindness, love, hope .... relate to such things as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, care of oneself, taking necessary precautions and so on? Children, come and find out - we will teach you how, 'Because We’re Alternative'.
- Ricardo Mader, Programme Coordinator
Our A.E.P. Students
Once again, our water polo team emerged winners of the National Secondary Schools' Water Polo League, copping the trophy for the second year running.
The superior strength of the St. Dominic´s team was evident throughout the League, all the way to the final game where - with a fine blend of finess and a strong attack they defeated the St. Mary´s College team 19 - 3.
Over the past four years the team has been consistently showing excellent performance, thanks to the combined efforts of Coach Reyes and the team's manager, Mrs. Lynette Gunnnings-Bute - we applaud you for your committment and hard work. They have identified 'the spirit of discipline and healthy competition' as areas of development which need to be addressed in our young team members. May we all, housemothers, caregivers and the other significant adults in the lives of these young people, rally around the team and help them take this success to the next level.
In the Beginning ... An earlier photo of Mrs. Lynette Gunnings- Bute, team manager, and the first group of team members