Sandals Foundation’s Lessons Alive campaign has joined with WEX to raise funds for over 80 digital tablets to help low-income students participate in virtual schooling.
WEX, the global commerce platform that simplifies the business of running a business, fundraised an impressive US$15,290 over a 4-month period to offset the costs of the digital devices.
Anthony Hynes, Executive Advisor at WEX, expressed how crucial it was for the WEX Travel team to support vulnerable students in the Caribbean. “It is important for us to help the communities who are really missing the support that tourists and the travel industry provided prior to the pandemic.”
Hynes noted that the WEX team was happy to come on board when Pack for a Purpose introduced them to the Sandals Foundation’s Lessons Alive campaign. “When Pack for a Purpose contacted us, we knew that we had to help.”
“The digital tablets will improve the learning opportunities for the children, giving them another way to gain knowledge while also improving the welfare within the community,” he added.
Rebecca Rothney, Chairperson of Pack for a Purpose, a non-profit organization that allows global travelers to donate much-needed supplies to local communities they visit, noted: “This donation, confirms that there is great corporate generosity waiting to be matched with worthwhile projects around the globe. Connecting travelers and business to community-based needs so that meaningful contributions can be made is our mission. We are delighted that in this match there was a tremendous outcome!”
Hynes was elated with the outcome of the contribution, noting: “Our team planned and executed numerous fundraising activities organized by our employees, for our employees globally. It was great to see everyone work together to raise the much-needed funds and have fun along the way.”
Some 81 digital tablets (Logic T10L) were delivered to students aged 9-11 years old at Vauxhall Primary School and St. Lawrence Primary School in Barbados. Karen Zacca, Operations Director at Sandals Foundation, indicated that the devices were distributed to students based on a needs assessment.
“When we received the donation from WEX, we were able to pull from our database, students at these two schools who needed the support, and fill that gap. With the increasing digital transformation of our education system across the Caribbean, it is important for us to ensure that our children are digitally literate and have equitable access to technological tools to advance their learning,” Zacca explained.
In August 2020, the Sandals Foundation intensified its digital support to the region’s educational sector as part of its Lessons Alive campaign which raised funds for the purchase and distribution of digital tablets to vulnerable primary school students across the Caribbean.
Together with continued support from partners, this initiative will help to lessen the digital divide.