Freelance computer technician Shivam Teelucksingh will embark on a second year of repairing devices for free for students and teachers in communities across Trinidad. He said this year, he will begin the project in Penal in November.
Teelucksingh, who is from Point Fortin, said he was able to repair 320 devices and save parents over $120,000 in repairs last year. He was recognised by Angostura with a Champion Award.
He explained, “I started the initiative last year because a lot of people in my community couldn’t afford to repair devices, especially since a lot of people weren’t working and they had to make sure the child could go online, pay the internet bill, all these little things, with the little income they had. It was really difficult, so I did repairs for those who were most deserving.
"I did a Facebook post that went viral, people reached out to me for help, and I decided to go into different areas to help the children. We did it exclusively for students and some teachers.”
He said he would be sticking mainly to communities in south and east Trinidad. He works with local computer technicians in each area, to give them experience and to give back to the communities.
“I’m trying to bring everybody together in this initiative this year, and see how best we can come together to help students. This year we’re assisting teachers and primary, secondary, and tertiary students only.
"There will be a limit on how many we do per location," he pointed out. "We’re operating by appointment, as we had a commotion last year, as people were just coming in with devices and we didn’t know who was who.”
He said in addition to appointments made through social media and by phone, he will be contacting schools to find out which students were in need.
“The schools would have a better idea of which students need it. The warranties on the laptops given out by the ministry and companies would be up in some cases, and the parents would have to pay for repairs, so the schools would know who would need the repairs.
"We’re also trying to give free software to teachers, as a lot of teachers would need the software, and also to university students, because a lot of them are starting courses right now and don’t have the relevant software to go forward.”
Teelucksingh said this year he would be able to carry out the project with the assistance of several sponsors.
“Our major sponsor is Airlink Communications, an internet company based in Princes Town. They are providing the parts. Last year I provided the money through small donations or personal income.
"We’ve reached out to various companies to see if they can give us laptops or tablets to give out to children in each area. I’m trying to work with various charity organisations, two of the main ones being The Blocs Foundation from San Fernando and No Youth Left Behind from La Brea, to do device donations. We’re currently collecting devices to refurbish and redistribute to people in need.”
Teelucksingh said the first location would be Anand and Amir Food Place in Penal on November 21. The company hosted him last year and he wanted to begin a tradition.
To set up an appointment, people can message his personal social media page Shivam Teelucksingh, call 363-1362, or e-mail email@example.com.