The Carnival Cruise Lines’ Azura liner brought some early Christmas cheer to the children of the Child Care Board’s Nightengale and Haynesville Children’s homes with the assistance of the Barbados Port Inc. While the children from Nightengale were welcomed on board the ship for a day of fun and festivities, the youth directorship team (Reef Rangers) of the Azura cruise line took the party to the children of Haynesville!
On Board the Azura the children, aged 3 months to 17 years, had loads of fun as they tackled playstation games, frolicked in the playground, did face painting and enjoyed a magic session from the ship’s magician Mr. Biscuit. After enjoying a sumptuous lunch and an impressive Christmas cabaret show, Santa and his helpers distributed gifts much to the delight of the children.
Youth director of the Azura, Sarah Delooze, who has worked with the cruise ship for 4 years said the team found out about the Nightengale home through some of their local contacts. "We just wanted to do something to give back to the island communities and spread some holiday cheer. The islands have always made us extremely welcome and it’s always a joy to give."
The visit to Haynesville, Delooze, explained was part of the cruise line’s drive to interact with some of the communities visited." As a result, the team decided to go to a home to spend time with these children who are some of the most vulnerable, to present them with gifts and bring them holiday cheer."
The residents of the home are either mentally or physically challenged. Ms. Davina Reid, House Parent (Ag.) said the facility currently accommodates 15 persons, 8 females and 7 males. "The home receives support from both public and private sector organisations, especially at Christmas time. The children are always happy to receive visitors and even more delighted to receive gifts."
"We know these kids have special needs, so we brought gifts that are both fun and educational for the children to enjoy." Delooze said.
The children thanked the 10 member youth team for the wonderful day and expressed their sincere appreciation for the gifts they received. Denise Nurse, Director of the Child Care Board (Ag) also thanked the team and by extension the cruise line for the initiative. " This is an extremely good initiative. We have had cruise lines extend this invitation to us before, however the opportunity has not arisen in a long time. I was extremely impressed with the high standard of the play facilities and the professionalism of the staff."
Nurse also thanked corporate Barbados for their generous support throughout the year and throughout the season. "Despite a time of economic difficulty our clients, the children have continued to receive the support they require, we know it is a difficult and so we are thankful."
The Azura team will also be visiting other children's homes in St Kitts and Dominica later this week before its return to the Bridgetown Port in two weeks.