St Augustine Senior Secondary Comprehensive School’s The Green Machine Original Alumni (GMOA) will host its first food drive on December 12 at various areas throughout the country. The organisation’s president, Sharon O’Brien, said the initiative will target needy families who would have suffered loss of earnings during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

“We had many fund-raising ventures planned for this year, but (they) had to be shelved due to Covid-19. In an effort not to let the year pass without any activity, the executive of the organisation decided to do a hamper drive to assist needy families.

“The donations are progressing nicely—not as fast as we like, but they are coming in. We do not have a specific sponsor, but we have reached out to various companies that supply foodstuff and toiletries.

“This is our first venture. We are aiming to give out at least 50 hampers of which we are looking to our own alumni first who may be in need of this gesture, then other families that our alumni may know,” O’Brien said.

Coming together

for one purpose

While the alumni are new, the school has, over the years, formed various alumni groups, which GMOA is hoping to bring under one umbrella.

“St Augustine Senior Secondary Comprehensive has a few alumni groups and we aim to bring all groups together for the common good of giving back to our school, which we love so much.

“We have seen our school deteriorate over the years. The sport teams are no longer the Mean Green Machine, the steelband is now coming back, and the discipline of the students is very low.

“We have past students from as far back as the first batch of students that entered the school in 1975. All past students are welcomed to join our organisation to get on board. Our aim is to get our school back as we know it. The objectives of GMOA is to bring past students together, to revisit the past with memories, keep in touch with each other, and rekindle old friendships as due to one’s livelihood may have drifted apart, have fund-raising ventures to assist our school and offer any assistance such as mentorship to students,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said Covid-19 has put a damper on the alumni’s plans. “This pandemic has hampered our plans to have a meeting with the present principal and other teachers of the school to access what is needed, to enable us to plan on how to assist.”

O’Brien said some within the alumni have faced challenges due to Covid-19.

“We know we have some alumni that may have either lost their jobs or received low earnings during this time of the pandemic. We have had some who would have contracted the virus and have recovered, and that’s just the few who would have reached out to us. This has touched us deeply, hence the reason to give back,” O’Brien said.


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A monthly roundup of news about Caribbean books and writers, presented by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest

Welcome to the latest instalment of the Bocas Book Bulletin, a monthly roundup of Caribbean literary news, curated by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, Trinidad and Tobago’s annual literary festival, and published in the Sunday Express.