D R Foote Construction donates 10 tablets to Grange Pen studentsThursday, October 22, 2020
BY HORACE HINES
GRANGE PEN, St James - When Cornwall College grade seven student Joniai Gayle received one of the 10 tablets that D R Foote Construction donated to students in this community on Saturday, his mother, Nickesha Lawrence Mingoes, was very ecstatic.
And she had every reason to be euphoric as in addition to her son, her two daughters, one of whom recently graduated from Hampton High School for girls, and who is now attending the Montego Bay Community College; and the other, who attends the Spot Valley High School, all share her mobile telephone between them to access their different online learning and social media platforms.
The handing over of the tablets to the 10 students at the Grange Pen Community Centre is the fruits of a partnership forged between Jamaica Labour Party councillor for the Rose Hall Division, Anthony Murray, and managing director of D R Foote Construction, Phillip Foote.
Lawrence Mingoes passionately expressed her gratitude to the stakeholders for the gift to her son.
“I am overwhelmed... I do thank you very much. I am saying thanks very much. I appreciate it because of the workload with school, WhatsApp and everything; my phone is down. I can't even take a call on it because everything freeze,” she shared, displaying her defective instrument.
She added: “I prayed to God about this and he really answered my prayers.”
Murray, who is also an educator, revealed that he approached Foote, whose company has been contracted to carry out infrastructural improvement in the Grange Pen community, to secure the tablets for the 10 students from in and around the community.
“As the local representative, I approached him [Foote] and asked for assistance in providing back-to-school support for the students. So he consented to donate 10 tablets to the students and today (Saturday) we are here to make that handing over official,” Murray disclosed.
Murray, who implored the recipients of the tablets to care of them and use them for the intended purposes, thanked Foote for cooperating.
“I want to thank him [Foote] for the initiative, I thank him for responding to the call of assisting the students in this time of need. I am using this opportunity also to ask other persons in the area who are able to assist...if it is even two or three tablets...no matter how small, it is the students now who really need this to assist with their learning. Most students would have been out of school for the last six months. It has become challenging and it is hard not to have them accessing their education at this critical time,” argued Murray, who is also the principal of Barrett Town Primary School in St James.
Foote noted that it was a no-brainier to give back to the community in which he is working.
“I am benefiting from this community and I have decided to give back. Education is the key, so I decided to donate some tablets for the students in and around this area of Grange Pen,” the contractor said.
He is also calling on other business operators to contribute towards education in some way.
“I would encourage others to come in. I will consider rendering further assistance to the residents of the community because it feels good to give back something,” Foote implored.
Murray also informed that he is collaborating with the six Seventh-day Adventist churches in his division to provide free Internet service to students who are without access.
“In a few weeks from now you will be able to go to all the Adventist churches in the division and access data to use with your tablets if you don't have data at home... it will be free for those persons. There are going to be some protocols that you must observe, but I am sponsoring that programme in the division, partnering with all the Adventist churches in the division. So the Adventist churches here are going to become a data point for you to go and access,” he told the 10 recipients and their parents, family members and friends who gathered at the handing-over ceremony.
He added: “We have also approached Universal Access Fund for you to get this (community) centre with a data facility. I know that they are working assiduously to make it a possibility in the shortest possible time.”
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