IOM Distributes 160 Tablets to Address Digital Learning Gap Amid COVID-19
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with its nonprofit partner, USA for IOM, and Citi Trinidad & Tobago, distributed 160 electronic tablets to primary schools and other organisations on February 10 and 11. This handover of electronic tablets to the Office of Law Enforcement Policy, Ministry of National Security, primary schools and non-governmental organizations was part of an initiative to narrow the digital learning gap created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of National Security welcomed 50 electronic tablets for their “No Child Left Behind” program, which provides vulnerable students in East Port of Spain with access to remote education. The San Rafael Primary School also received 50 electronic devices to support their students with online education.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Director of the Office of Law Enforcement Policy (OLEP), Gale Charles, took the opportunity to thank IOM and Citi for their donation of the 50 devices.
“These devices would go a long way in supporting the children of East Port of Spain who are in of need devices to access virtual learning during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. The OLEP-MLI/IATF team has been working assiduously to identify children most in need to ensure that they have access to an education and receive the support they so truly need,” Charles said.
IOM also distributed 20 electronic tablets to the TTV Solidarity Network for migrant children, 20 tablets to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and five tablets each to the St. Mary’s Government Primary School, Holy Trinity Moruga Anglican Primary School, Fifth Company Baptist Primary School and St. Michael’s Anglican Primary School.
IOM Head of Office in Port-of-Spain, Jewel Ali, explained that this initiative is part of IOM’s global strategic plan to adapt to the changing needs that communities of concern are facing because of COVID-19.
“The distribution of the tablets is part of a larger initiative in response to the pandemic, which also includes the distribution of food and hygiene kits to migrants and nationals of T&T in rural/coastal communities such as Icacos. Through this project a total of 382 persons from 92 families received hygiene kits in Icacos while 347 persons from 73 families received food vouchers in Icacos and Siparia, Trinidad in December 2020,” she said.
IOM, a United Nations agency dedicated to managing migration and protecting the rights of migrants, works with local, regional and international institutions to respond to calls from migrants and referrals from partners requesting various forms of emergency assistance.
USA for IOM raises awareness and funds to support IOM’s life-saving humanitarian assistance for people displaced by natural disasters and conflicts, as well survivors of human trafficking around the globe. The
effort in Trinidad and Tobago builds on USA for IOM and Citi’s collaboration to assist migrants across the region, including in the Bahamas, Colombia and Peru.
Citi Country Officer for Trinidad & Tobago, Mitchell De Silva, said, “We have partnered with IOM to reach out to those who may be feeling the effects of the pandemic more than others. Through this initiative, we will enable students to attend virtual classes as we continue to support economic growth and development in the country.”
Since Trinidad and Tobago recorded its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, IOM has been working with the government of Trinidad and Tobago and other stakeholders to combat the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable groups such as migrants.
For additional information, please contact the Reporting and Communications Officer at IOM Port-of-Spain, Ms. Kandy Serrant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.