USAID Donates Over 1,000 Tablets to Children in Jamaica State Care

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams (second left) and Country Representative, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Jason Fraser (third left), display tablets during the handover of 1,500 of the devices by the USAID to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), under the Ministry's 'One Laptop or Tablet Per Child Initiative'. The ceremony was held at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in Kingston, on Wednesday (December 16). Also displaying tablets are Chief Executive Officer (CEO), CPFSA, Rosalee Gage Gray (left) and Pro Vice Chancellor (Global Affairs) and Principal, UWI Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth. The USAID also donated a 16-seater Toyota Hiace bus to the CPFSA. Photo: Mark bell/JIS

The diaspora continues to show its support for Jamaican students who are currently facing challenges with online learning.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently made a donation of 1,500 tablet computers to Jamaica’s Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA).

The devices, which have been donated under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s ‘One Laptop or Tablet per Child Initiative’, were handed over during the Transitional Living Programme for Children in State Care (TLP-CSC) ceremony, held at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in Kingston, on Wednesday (December 16).

A 16-seat Toyota Hiace bus has also been donated to the CPFSA by the USAID, to transport children in State care. This is the fourth vehicle donated by the USAID to the CPFSA.

The bus will be handed over to Muirton Boys’ Home for children with mild intellectual disabilities.

Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams thanked USAID for the generous donation, which, she said, will assist in improving the outcomes of these vulnerable children.

“Thank you for hearing our appeal in terms of the donation of the tablets. Our appeal is simply this – one laptop or tablet per child across the education system in Jamaica. It is our mandate to eliminate the digital divide,” she said.

Noting the significant contributions of the USAID to the TLP-CSC project, Mrs. Williams thanked the agency for its support of the project, which she noted, has positively impacted an estimated 1,000 children in State care who are making the transition to independent living.

A representative from USAID, Jason Fraser, in turn, applauded the Ministry for providing some of the island’s most vulnerable children with the necessary resources for learning.

“We believe that this initiative at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic is an innovative and timely response to dealing with the achievement gaps that some communities in Jamaica face due to the lack of technological resources. We are pleased to hand over these devices to further this initiative…We all want to ensure that the children in State care have access to education in these trying times,” Mr. Fraser said.

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