A Trinidadian who lives in Canada has donated 62 tablets and $10,000 in cash to the St Benedict’s RC Church, La Romaine, for use by the migrant community and local vulnerable parishioners.
The charitable work of the La Romaine Migrant Support (LARMS) and Kindness Makes a Difference (KMAD) captured the attention of the benefactor, who wants to remain anonymous.
The tablets were handed over last Sunday at the La Romaine church.
Parish priest Msgr Christian Pereira, who gave thanks for the gift at the distribution ceremony, lauded the work of LARMS, which focuses on the migrant community, and KMAD, which focuses on the local vulnerable population. He said these two groups have expanded on the ministry of the St Vincent de Paul Society.
They also receive ongoing support from the wider parish community, which provides food and grocery hampers, along with mattresses, household items, beds, and clothes.
He said among the team of volunteers who support the process, are "experienced teachers" from Venezuela and some retired local teachers who give the children assignments on a regular basis.
“Learning is also happening among the local vulnerable community, as we are also enabling them to have access to online schooling by providing donated tablets and MiFi gadgets.
“When we bring hampers or food supplies to the homes, the children who have devices are joyfully presenting their ‘homework.’ Very often some of the children use their parents’ mobile device, thus depriving the parents of the use of their phone.
“This is a slow but effective way to develop positive learning commitment among our vulnerable community. “
Pereira said the Trinidadian/Canadian donor, who lives in the Niagara Escarpment, recently became aware of the work of the La Romaine parish in caring for vulnerable children through Lucille Nathu, a former employee of CAMSEL who was contracted to do some research in Trinidad for him.
His passion for the children’s wellbeing and security translated into the gift for the parish, arranged by Nathu,.
On Sunday, after appropriate assessment by LARMS and KMAD, the tablets were distributed, on a contract basis, to help equip more children with access to learning and communication.
Pereira explained the tablets have been given on one-year contracts, with parental approval, with the possibility of an extension once they are being used for the purpose intended. He said the cash will be used towards groceries and hampers.
He added, “It is to be noted that the Presbyterian Church has also donated ten tablets, and some La Romaine families have also made donations of learning devices in addition to this large donation. We are gradually bringing our vulnerable population to be able to access education for the greater good of the society.”