The Hinds Town Youth Empowerment Foundation in St. Ann has donated 30 tablets to needy students living in the community to assist with online learning.
The tablets, valued at US$5,000 were handed over to the students at a recent ceremony held at the Hinds Town Anglican Church.
The beneficiaries attend Ocho Rios High, Marcus Garvey High, Epworth Primary, Ocho Rios Primary, Parry Town Primary, Beecher Town Primary, and Hinds Town Basic Schools in St. Ann, and the Iona and St. Mary High Schools in St. Mary.
President of the Foundation, Laphen Haye, who resides in the United States, said the organisation is thrilled to be able to provide the devices to help ease the burden being faced by some parents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
She noted that the donation is part of a bigger drive to advance the development of the youth in Hinds Town and neighbouring communities.
“We believe the children are the future and if we sit down and watch our youth struggle academically, financially and mentally, then we will definitely see failure. That’s not what we want for Hinds Town. So, the mission of the Foundation is to advance the development of our youth through lifelong learning initiatives by providing training, equipment, and educational support, and creating an environment that facilitates creativity, ingenuity and empowerment to help them thrive academically and mentally,” Ms. Haye said.
For his part, Local Vice President of the Foundation, Orville Gordon, told JIS News that he observed first-hand, the challenges students face connecting to online classes, due to a lack of devices, and was moved with compassion.
He said that through international sponsors and funding from Board members, the charitable organisation was able to purchase the tablets.
A beneficiary, Chyanne Wilson, who attends the Ocho Rios High School, said she is grateful for the donation, as it will enhance her learning.
“It feels good knowing that there [are] people out there who still care for the community and they are still thinking about the children and students in the community. I think the donation was a good idea, because Hinds Town isn’t really developed and most of the students at home didn’t have gadgets… to do schoolwork,” she said.
Parent, Kanisha Campbell, said the device will make virtual learning less challenging for her daughter, who had to depend on her smartphone for classes.
She praised the Foundation for moving to ensure that children in the community are not being left behind in the new virtual world.
The Hinds Town Youth Empowerment Foundation is a charitable organisation, which has members locally and in the United States and Canada. It is aimed at uplifting and empowering youth in marginalised communities.