A Zoom screenshot of the attendees for the virtual handover between Marubeni Power International Inc. and the Society of St Vincent De Paul They are, Angelique Taylor, National President Society of St Vincent De Paul, top middle, Marubeni Power International Inc. CEO Minako Wakayama, bottom left, Senior Vice President Marubeni Power International Damian Obiglio and Senior Manager Marubeni Caribbean Operations Numasawa–Yu-Car.

Marubeni Power International Inc., an electric utility services company, has donated over $100,000 to the elderly and physically challenged people in T&T.

The company, which has major operations in Japan and the United States, said it had contributed US$8,000 (TT$54,084) to the St Vincent de Paul Society last week and $52,000 to the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) in San Fernando prior to this.

The company noted that as T&T slowly eases COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, it is even more important to attend to the needs of the most vulnerable. In respect to the COVID-19 threat, Marubeni explained that the elderly are very vulnerable and the differently-abled have a hard time coping with the restrictions.

Marubeni Power International CEO Minako Wakayama acknowledged that both organisations play critical roles in the society.

“The St Vincent de Paul Society provides much help for many deprived persons, especially the elderly,” Wakayama said.

Wakayama added that it is the company’s desire to see the society continue to do its work without any interruption, or even reduction, during the pandemic.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul Trinidad and Tobago, founded in 1857, is a catholic lay organisation that focuses on helping the poor and dispossessed in Trinidad and Tobago, regardless of race or religion.

The society runs six homes for the aged, including the St Vincent de Paul Home for Men & Women in Mason Hall, Tobago.

They also manage two centres for homeless persons and two centres for mentally challenged individuals (one in Port-of-Spain and one in Barataria). There is also one night shelter in San Fernando and one hostel also in San Fernando, both operated by the society. The Society’s work is funded primarily from donations and fundraisers.

With regard to the NCPD, Wakayama said Marubeni was very aware of the special challenges faced by the differently-abled during this difficult period.

“Even in normal times, getting from place to place is not an easy task for persons with disabilities. With the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable persons have to be extra cautious,” she said.