SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister and Chair of EOC, Honorable Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, instructed all schools on the island to be closed to students and the general public as of March 18, 2020.
As a result of the closure most schools turned over to digital/online educational platforms to continue the learning process for their students. This new style of learning forms a hindrance for some students due to no internet or laptop/computer at home.
In the wake of the current state of affairs, the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise began brainstorming on projects that the club can execute to serve our community as we deal with the current crisis. The club was approached by Ms. Brigette Halley of New Start for Children Foundation seeking assistance. The foundation which was founded by Mrs. Veronica (Sally) Benjamin runs a foster home which is currently housing over 25 children; the children are students of various elementary schools.
Due to low internet speed and lack of sufficient devices, the children were facing difficulties in following their classes and completing their school assignments. The club offered assistance by purchasing and donating 11 Alcatel 1T 10 Wi-Fi tablets and facilitated the upgrading of the home Internet speed. While preparing a budget for the project, the club approached Telnet for their internet package rates, once the corporation was informed on the project specifics they offered to contribute by complimentary upgrading the internet speed from 12MB to 32MB for a period of 3 months.
In an invited comment, Club President Prakash Dialani stated that the club is extremely grateful for the contribution received from Telnet; it is good to see corporations stepping in to assist the community where ever they can. We are urging other companies to do the same, whatever service you can donate or contribute once it is in benefit of the community it will be greatly appreciated. When the devices were delivered the children were very excited and Mrs. Benjamin expressed her gratitude to the Rotary Sunrise Club and Telnet.