IOM distributes tablets to at-risk, migrant children

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


US Embassy in Port of Spain Chargé d’Affaires Shante Moore (centre) and Head of the International Organization for Migration Port of Spain office Jewel Ali hand over a tablet to Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ) representative Darrion Narine at an event at the UN House in Port of Spain on December 30. – International Organization for Migration (IMO) Port of Spain Office

On December 30, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Port of Spain office donated 200 tablets to the Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ), the Office of Law Enforcement Policy (OLEP) of the Ministry of National Security and the TTV Solidarity Network (TTVSOLNET).

Handed over at an event at the UN House in Port of Spain, the tablets will be distributed to children within local marginalised communities and the Venezuelan migrant community.

The initiative was funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

In a release on Monday, the IOM said it hoped the tablets would help narrow the digital divide among students in TT.

The release said Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Port of Spain Shante Moore spoke at the event.

US Embassy in Port of Spain Chargé d’Affaires Shante Moore speaks at the International Organization for Migration Port of Spain electronic tablet distribution ceremony held on December 30 at the UN House in Port of Spain. – International Organization for Migration (IMO) Port of Spain Office

Moore said, “It’s important that all of our children, whether they are Venezuelan refugees or Trinbagonian children, have the opportunity to study, to make sure they have all-access to educational tools.

“Today’s donation just reiterates our commitment to Trinidad and Tobago, the Venezuelan refugee community, and to the United Nations, the IOM in particular, to do all that we can to help in this area.”

IOM official Jewel Ali said the tablets were the second batch to be distributed as 160 were distributed earlier this year.

Ali said the initiative was created after the topic of bridging the digital divide between students of different socioeconomics was discussed during consultations with a wide cross section of stakeholders which included the government and local NGOs.

Head of the International Organization for Migration (IMO) Port of Spain office Jewel Ali (standing) speaks at the IMO’s electronic tablet distribution ceremony held on December 30 at the UN House in Port of Spain. – International Organization for Migration (IMO) Port of Spain Office

Ali explained, “We certainly hope to continue investing not just in tablets but any other supporting devices, possibly internet access, and even things beyond education but that supports it such as mental health and psychosocial support.”

OLEP Director Gale Charles welcomed the donation and said it will continue to assist the organisation’s efforts to work with underprivileged children in marginalised communities in East Port of Spain community.

CCSJ representative Darrion Narine said the tablets would contribute greatly to ministry’s work with Venezuelan migrant children.