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RBC celebrates and applauds the simple acts of kindness demonstrated in our Caribbean communities. While we may not be able to give back to our communities in large ways, it is the simple acts that can make an unforgettable difference in someone's day. During this holiday season and pandemic, giving back to community in small ways will help us all get through this together. #Caribbeanstrong #Actsofkindness

Married couple Steven and Pamela Bhagwandass from Trinidad and Tobago have a passion for helping others which led them to open a children’s home. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have ensured that all health and safety protocols are observed and equipped the home’s library with electronic devices to facilitate remote classes. Additionally, they donated 50 hampers with food and other essential items to less fortunate families in the communities of Freeport and Moruga. The children’s home continues to serve as a beacon of hope for the children and the less fortunate.

The 1.5 acres of land that was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Bhagwandass as a potential investment property was instead used to open a children’s home in 2011 called ‘Haven of Hope‘. The home is located in Woodlands, Trinidad and seeks to provide a safe haven for children who are at risk of abuse, neglect and abandonment.

Steven and Pamela Bhagwandass, Founders of Haven of Hope

The home started with 2 boys and now has a total of 14 children, a mixture of both boys and girls who are looked after by 3 live-in caregivers. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown measures, the children are unable to engage in their regular activities and outings. Nonetheless, they are fortunate that the home is equipped with a library and also has a large outdoor area where they can play.

To adjust to remote teaching, the children were given the necessary equipment and training on how to go online and access their classes. If the children require additional emotional support, Aunty Pam and Uncle Steven (as they are affectionately called) do their best to help. Pamela added, “One thing the children are guaranteed to get from us at any time is love.”

Even while running a business of their own, Mr. and Mrs. Bhagwandass are fully committed to managing the home and visit on a weekly basis. While it can be challenging at times, their evident love for the children and passion keeps them going. Pamela said, “Sometimes it’s hard but you don’t stop because you think about the impact you can have on a child’s life.” Pamela mentioned that she constantly draws inspiration from the life of Mother Teresa.

During this time, the couple was also able to help some families who have been affected as a result of the pandemic. They worked alongside 3 churches to distribute 50 hampers with food and other essential supplies to less fortunate families in the communities of Freeport and Moruga.

Pamela summed up their sentiments by saying, “Our intention was always to have a home and not just another institution. I wanted to do social work in a different way. Our plan is to give the children a future and a home.” The couple has plans to extend the home by having separate buildings for the boys and girls so they can accommodate and help even more children.

To learn more about Haven of Hope, visit their website where you can also learn about ways in which you can donate.

“All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as at the date of the publication and are subject to change. This article is not an express or implied endorsement of any third parties or their initiatives by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.”