$1million for Lady Hochoy home
By Sasha Harrinanan Sunday, June 2 2013
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From left, Sister Margarita Chan, manager of the Lady Hochoy Home at Cocorite and Sister Bertill Dean receive a computer from Reema Carmona, wife of ...
China’s First Lady, Peng Liyuan, yesterday announced a $1 million Yuan donation (just over TT $1 Million) of materials to the Lady Hochoy Home in Cocorite, during a visit to the school for children with mental and physical disabilities.
Spontaneous applause greeted the news of this unexpected gift while the Home’s Manager, Sister Bertill Dean, was observed beaming in delight.
Peng informed management they should “just tell our Embassy what the Home needs and our Embassy will be in charge of delivering the materials to you.”
The fashionable First Lady, who wore a royal blue dress underneath a long cream coat, then extended wishes of “great health and happiness” to everyone.
June 1 is Children’s Day in China, hence the timing of Peng’s visit and $1 million donation announcement while on tour of the Lady Hochoy Home yesterday afternoon.
Speaking to Newsday about the donation, Dean said “it came as quite a surprise. The materials will come in handy in bringing each of our homes up to modern standards, as set out by the Children’s Authority. I also hope to use some of the donated materials to begin construction of our vacation camp bungalow in La Fillette, Blanchisseuse.”
China’s First Lady exuded a sense of warmth and friendliness during her interactions with staff but she positively beamed when chatting with members of the physiotherapy group yesterday afternoon.
After the children sang “Love Makes The World Go Round” for China’s First Lady, ten-year-old Ayume Remy asked her for a hug and Peng happily obliged. Peng, who has a daughter of her own, then took the time to make sure Remy’s hair was looking neat before saying goodbye and heading to the Home’s auditorium where members of the LHH Boys and Girls Choral performed the popular folk song, “Mango”. Afterward Peng told the choral “your singing was beautiful and brings us a lot of hope.”
As a token of her visit, the First Lady handed out a few stuffed Panda Bear toys to members of the choral. Then it was her turn to be presented with a gift — a painting of a traditional wooden Colonial-style home. Keeping to schedule, the Chinese delegation concluded its 40-minute visit to LHH at precisely 4 pm but Peng wanted to say a few words in private to Dean before she left, so the two women stood talking in the lobby area for a few minutes. Dean later told Newsday the First Lady praised “the good work that we do. She told me we’re kind of famous because she heard about us back in China. The First Lady also said children with disabilities need love too and expressed appreciation for the service we provide.”