The Victoria Mutual (VM) Foundation through a new ‘Refurbish for Change’ initiative, recently donated 130 fully restored computers to educational and community development institutions across the island.
Eight early childhood and primary-level schools, three high schools, a service organisation and a church were the recipients of desktop, all-in-one and laptop computers, handed over during a tour of the institutions over recent weeks. The initiative, done through collaboration with VM’s Group Information Communication Technology (ICT) Unit, was executed in response to the increased need for computers to facilitate online learning due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Clover Moore, Assistant Vice President, Group Corporate Affairs and Communications, said the move is part of VM’s overarching commitment to engaging in meaningful outreach in the community and giving back in areas where the need is great.
“Our Group Chief Technology Officer, Dalton Richardson, being very passionate about contributing to education and bridging the digital divide, assessed the situation and recognised that instead of disposing of the devices not being used by the organisation, they could be expertly restored to a fully functional state and could make a significant difference to recipients,” she said.
She said the equipment donated were assessed to be in good physical condition and highly functional and the operating systems were wiped and reloaded.
Wayne Robinson, principal of Jamaica College, expressed gratitude to the VM Group for the donation, which saw the school’s Mayer Matalon Dormitory receiving 20 all-in-one computers.
“This has significantly helped the boys who live on campus to be able to access their online classes during school hours and have good machines with stable internet access after school. Boys from across the island live on the compound and we are happy that they have been afforded this opportunity by VM during this time,” he said.
Other recipients were St George’s College’s, Pinnacle Academy, Chevannes Basic School, Jacob’s Well Basic School, One Way Early Childhood, Jacks Hill Infant & Primary School, Calabar Infant & Primary, Hope SDA Basic School, Laura’s Basic School, Norman Gardens Primary School, the Women’s Centre Foundation of Jamaica, and the Church of God of Prophecy, Bull Bay.
This initiative is the latest in a series of donations of tablet devices, laptops and desktop computers by the VM Foundation since the start of the pandemic, with some 120 devices donated in 2020. This includes 80 devices provided for the Foundation’s 2019 and 2020 scholarship recipients.