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Friday 13 December 2019
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Tobago

Digicel makes Happy Haven students smile

School's play park refurbished

Students of Happy Haven School have fun on the bars at the reopenng of the school's play park courtesy the Digicel Foundation.  - DAVID REID
Students of Happy Haven School have fun on the bars at the reopenng of the school's play park courtesy the Digicel Foundation. - DAVID REID

The Digicel Foundation has put a smile on the faces of students at Happy Haven School, Signal Hill, after refurbishing its playground equipment.

The $30,000 project, which was completed in July, saw the replacement of several pieces of playground equipment as well as repairs to existing ones.

Speaking on Thursday at a simple function to commemorate the event, Digicel Foundation director Georgina Peterkin said the initiative was in line with the company's objective to reach out to communities.

She said the Foundation, through its Extraordinary Projects Impacting Communities (EPIC) programme, has aimed to deliver a series of small-scale community projects with the potential to enhance indoor and outdoor spaces and contribute towards the development of communities throughout TT.

Teachers and students of Happy Haven School with Digicel Foundation director Georgina Peterkin at the reopening of the school's play park last Thursday. - DAVID REID

"We have supported and implemented programmes which advocate for inclusion and advancement of the lives of persons with special needs," Peterkin said.

She said Tobago Council for the Handicapped Children submitted its application to Digicel Foundation earlier this year and was selected to receive US$5,000 through the EPIC programme to refurbish the play park at the Happy Haven School.

She said the mission of the council is to enable children with disabilities to achieve the maximum potential through play

"The goal, to provide an opportunity of stimulating, therapy, education and training for children with disabilities in Tobago, goes hand in hand with the mandate at the Digicel Foundation in creating a world where no one is left behind."

Digicel Foundation director Georgina Peterkin, centre, helps two students of Happy Haven School on the swings at the school's refurbished playground on Thursday. PHOTO BY DAVID REID - DAVID REID

Peterkin said the existing playground equipment had significantly deteriorated and was in need of refurbishment.

She added repairs and replacements were made to the slides, grab bar units and swing sets.

"In addition, the funds facilitated an additional swing set and a circular climbing frame. Rockers were repositioned and all play equipment were repainted."

Peterkin said there is a proposal to erect a fence and metal gate around the park.

"Play and recreation remains essential to all children's health and well-being. And, at the Happy Haven School, conditions have been put in place to allow the child to have this free space which will aid in the childhood development."

BOYS WILL BE BOYS: Happy Haven School students have fun at their refurbished playground courtesy Digicel Foundation. - DAVID REID

Principal Dianne Le Cointe thanked Digicel for again responding to the school's call for assistance.

The Happy Haven School, which was established in 1976, caters to children with special needs. The school has 34 students, five teachers and four teaching assistants.

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