PowerGen hosts Special Children’s Fun Day in Penal

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this August 29 photo, three out of stacks of the Powergen plant a visible from Wrightson Road, Port of Spain. All of the stacks have since been removed. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

OVER 1,458 children with special needs from 32 schools nationwide converged in Penal, where they engaged in fun activities as part of the Power Generation Company of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd’s (PowerGen’s) annual Special Children’s Fun Day.

The event, hosted at PowerGen Penal Sports Grounds in Syne Village on April 18, saw children in a show of colour parading, dancing to music and playing games such as a wheelchair race, big sack race and the rabbit-hop relay.

PowerGen’s general manager Dr Haydn I Furlonge said this year marks the 28th edition of the event as well as the company’s 30th anniversary as the longest-serving and largest power producer in the country.

“We did have a four-year break due to the pandemic, but this did not stop our support to schools for funding resources and projects, supporting over 800 special students,” Furlonge said. “We are not just about power, we are about people too, and we are pleased to share our joy with everyone here today.”

To the students, Furlonge said: “Your enthusiasm gives us 1,458 reasons to demonstrate our company’s core value of caring for our country. We continue to see the value of this event in the many smiles we see today.”

He later told Newsday the event was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), adding that youth development is one of the pillars of its CSR programme.

Furlonge said PowerGen staff members and volunteers see the event as an opportunity to contribute and give back to society.

“It is a sense of fulfilment for PowerGen to give back to our community.”

Furlonge said in addition to its contributions to special-needs children, it supports academics and sports.

He cited the sponsorship of secondary school cricket, PowerGen Penal Cricket Team, as well as bursaries at UWI, NIHERST, YTEPP and the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities.

He thanked all the volunteers, service providers and staff members from PowerGen Penal and Point Lisas for their contributions.

He also commended the teachers, parents, and caregivers for allowing PowerGen to have a day of fun together.

Chairman of the management committee Mohamed Majeed said the event was one of PowerGen’s premier events, bringing together differently-abled children from schools nationwide and sometimes from neighbouring islands.

“This is probably the biggest, most special event for PowerGen. We are completely dedicated to any activity that involves improving the quality of life for kids,” Majeed said.

The event started with one school in Penal and grew and became a natural evolution.

“As much as it is a planned corporate event, the engagement and passion of the employees spread through. These events are what I call self-explanatory,” Majeed said. “All you have to do is watch. Watch the march-past, watch the passion of the caregivers and watch the kids.”

The school parade included Servol Special School’s presentation A Blast from the Past, which consisted of students dressed mainly as sailors. The Tobago Technical Vocation Centre for Persons with Disability presented Capital of Paradise, and the Tobago School for the Deaf Speech and Language Impaired presented Perseverance.