Diaspora Joins Jamaica’s ‘One Laptop or Tablet Per Child’ Initiative

Sheri-Kae McLeod

Photo: UNICEF Jamaica/2018/Talk Up Yout

Last month, the President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, Jasford Gabriel had called on Jamaicans in the diaspora to assist local students who were struggling to access online classes. His call has been answered by one diaspora organization which is now providing much-needed support.

The Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Action Network has pledged its support to an initiative launched by the island’s ministry of education. The ‘One Laptop or Tablet Per Child’ initiative, launched in October, is seeking to provide at least 100,000 students with computer devices.

In the diaspora, the initiative being spearheaded by the Jamaica Consul General to New York, Alsion Roach Wilson. The group has set out to provide 70,000 students at the infant and primary school level with tablets, while 30,000 high school students will get laptops.

Roach-Wilson said she has received much support from the diaspora so far.

“In light of the current challenges being faced by hundreds of thousands of students in Jamaica whose education has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the support from our Diaspora and corporate partners has been most heartening,” she told CNW Network.

“This support will go a long way in mobilizing the necessary resources for acquiring 70,000 Tablets and 30,000 Laptops, in order to provide our students with the opportunity to remain engaged in today’s current virtual classroom setting. At the same time, the need for more support remains high on our agenda and we look forward to more partners coming on-board.”  

She also gave a timeline of the project and urged members of the diaspora to continue to support.

“Notwithstanding the project’s six-month timeline, our goal is to meet this challenge at the earliest opportunity. In this regard, I am making a special appeal to all members of our Diaspora and friends of Jamaica to partner with us in bridging the digital divide, one remote device per child.”

Members of the diaspora looking to make donations can do so in the following ways:

  1. mail your cheque: payable to the Consulate General of Jamaica, New York to the following address: Consulate General of Jamaica, 767 Third Ave, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10017. Kindly include a note with your full name and contact details.
  2. visit the address (above) for in-person payments, if preferred. They are open Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 4pm.
  3. wire transfer, details for which they will share by way of contact at 212-935-9000.
  4. hyperlink of one of their partners, Bluefields Bay Villas, which would take less than two minutes to complete your donation process: http://donate.bluefieldsvillas.com/ ”

Laptop and tablet devices being donated should also be sent to the New York Consul General of Jamaica office.

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