The 57th edition of the Red Cross Kiddies Carnival was launched yesterday at the Society’s headquarters, Fitzblackman Drive, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain. Wife of the President of Trinidad and Tobago Reema Carmona brought greetings to those gathered and saluted the team for its hard work. This is Carmona’s first year as a patron of the event.
Vindra Amar, chairperson, Red Cross Children’s Carnival Committee, said planning for this year’s Carnival began five months ago with the Committee’s small group of dedicated volunteers.
She said the Red Cross Children’s Carnival is staged primarily to raise funds for humanitarian projects undertaken by the Red Cross, which celebrates 50 years as a national society this year.
“It is very important that all of you know that only around 30 per cent of the money raised through this event is actually used to fund it,” Amar said.
“We keep costs at a minimum and are fortunate to have a collaboration of volunteers and donors providing cash, prizes, products and services and even meals, free of charge.”
Amar added that fundraising and donor support are critical to the viability of the Red Cross and that the Society has been able to purchase two ambulances, two service vehicles and even refurbish the Northern Branch facility.
This year the Committee will use the funds raised to benefit underprivileged children and young people .
“This event is about children who are fortunate enough to be able to play mas and have a day of enjoyment. The funds will be used by the Red Cross in sustainable projects which benefit other not so fortunate children — whether it is in vision care, juvenile diabetes, violence against youth.”
The Gift of Light project was also made possible by the Red Cross’s fundraising efforts. Through this project, children in Trinidad and Tobago who are without electricity are provided with solar lanterns.
The project was born when the Welfare Team of the National Society conducted an assessment of a vulnerable family and found that the eyesight of the children in the home had deteriorated due to studying for school and doing homework by the insufficient light of a kerosene lamp.
The Gift of Illumination project will be rolled out in four phases.
The Red Cross Children’s Carnival 2014 is scheduled for Saturday February 22 at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain. Registration begins on January 20 at the Red Cross Society Headquarters and closes on February 14.
Babes in Arms, Boys and Girls 3-5 years, Most Outstanding under 6 years and Floats, Boys and Girls 9-11 years are some of the categories of the competition.