Between October and November, Sean Yearwood collected books to donate to the St Dominic’s Children’s Home in Port of Spain and St Mary’s Children’s Home in Tacarigua.
But support for the initiative surpassed Yearwood’s expectations. In total, 1,100 books were collected. So apart from the initial two children’s homes targeted by the initiative, books were also given to three other children’s homes.
Yearwood, 17, a lower six student at St Mary’s College, in Port of Spain, spoke with Newsday about the initiative.
“As long as you have the resources and know you are able, feel free to give to others.
“It feels really good to help others and see the smiles on their faces,” he said.
The founder of the WE Schools’ Union of TT, Yearwood said members of the group came up with the idea for the book drive during one of its online meetings.
WE Schools Union "came up with the idea in September, around the time when CSEC results were being posted.
“People were getting into gear to restart school. But we realised there were less fortunate children (at children’s homes) who may not have had the books or resources needed to properly restart school.”
Apart from himself, a team of seven volunteers from other schools worked on the book drive. During October, the team collected books at St Mary’s College in Port of Spain. By early November, they had collected approximately 1,100 books including textbooks, storybooks and novels.
Of these, 550 were donated to the St Dominic’s and St Mary’s Children’s homes.
“We received an overwhelming number of books and as such, we had to donate to other homes than the two we had originally set out for.”
The additional books were donated to the Freeport Orphanage, St Finbar’s RC Church in Diego Martin and the Corpus Christi College of Occupational Education and Training in Diego Martin.
“Other individuals in need of assistance in terms of schoolbooks were able to come and attain the books necessary.
“There are still excess books, and a message has been sent out to the St Mary’s College school population for children in need of assistance.”
Yearwood said he and other members of the WE Schools movement are now brainstorming future efforts for those in need. The group – a subset of the Canada-based WE Movement – was created after Yearwood attended a local, We Movement event in 2019.
The global WE Movement’s mission is to empower young people to contribute to positive social change. Yearwood said he created the local arm to rally like-minded young people in TT to achieve the group’s goal.
Yearwood is calling on more young people to join the group and take part in future initiatives.
Anyone interested in supporting Yearwood’s efforts or joining the WE Schools Union of TT can e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the group’s website at: wesutt.simplesite.com or follow the group on Instagram @weschoolsuniontt