Rotary Sunrise members with Veronica “Sally” Benjamin (right) of New Start for Children Foundation.
MARY’S FANCY–Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise donated eleven Alcatel 1T 10 tablets to New Start for Children Foundation on Wednesday and recently facilitated a three-month upgrade of the foster home’s Internet connection, so that the foundation’s foster children can keep up with digital learning.
The foundation, which was founded by Veronica “Sally” Benjamin, runs a foster home that currently houses approximately 25 children who are pupils of various St. Maarten primary schools.
As a result of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Chairperson Silveria Jacobs closed all St. Maarten schools as of Wednesday, March 18.
“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 is a hindrance for some students due to no Internet or laptop/computer at home. … Due to low Internet speed and lack of sufficient devices, the children [at the foster home – Ed.] were facing difficulties in following their classes and completing their school assignments,” said Rotary Sunrise in a press release on Thursday.
While the club was brainstorming ways to help the community during the current crisis, it was approached by New Start for Children Foundation representative Brigitte Halley, who sought the club’s assistance for the foundation.
The club wanted to purchase several tablets and pay to upgrade the foundation’s Internet connection. While preparing a budget for the project, the club said it asked telecommunications company TelEm about its Internet package rates.
“Once the corporation was informed about the project specifics, they offered to contribute by complimentarily upgrading the Internet speed from 12Mbps [megabits per second] to 32Mbps for a period of three months,” said the club.
“The club is extremely grateful for the contribution received from TelEm. It is good to see corporations stepping in to assist the community wherever 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,” said Rotary Sunrise President Prakash “Peter” Dialani.
When the club delivered the 11 Alcatel tablets to the foundation, the foster children were very excited. Benjamin thanked the club and TelEm for their contribution.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/rotary-sunrise-donates-tablets-to-foster-home