Recipient Alex Baboolal stands between President of Widow Support TT Soraya Nanan, left, and Tabaquite MP Anita Haynes, during a handing over ceremony of laptops and Ipads, at Campo de Surya Belle, Macaulay yesterday. Other recipients were from left Sophia Seecharan, Ashley Whittaker, Daawund Hosein and Kirk Ramtahal.

Sascha Wilson

Formed in 2009 to help support people who experienced grief or faced with various challenges, Widows Support TT has distributed laptops to six children.

Founder Soraya Nanan said it was the first distribution of laptops and they were given to children of widows, widowers, single parents, and needy families. “We hope to give out more laptops to children because a lot of kids don’t have access to this online learning and the parents when they contacted me some in Standard Four going to write exams next year, some of them are in Form Five and it is very difficult for them to continue with this online learning.”

Noting that since the COVID-19 restrictions most children have been confined home, she said the function which was held in Claxton Bay also provided an opportunity for the children to socialise. To lift their spirits, she also gave them treat bags. Nanan formed the group after her husband died and she was left to care for their one-year-old son.

“I decided to form this support group so that people could share their stories and I always say by sharing your stories you could unlock someone’s prison and you know by just interacting with people like myself they gain strength. Our motto is We Heal and Grieve Together and what we hope through this group is to help others heal, grow, and to give them hope and this is how this venture today where we are giving out these laptops was to give people hope because grief is not only persons who are going through or experiencing the death of a loved one.”

Speaking to reporters during the function at Camp de Surya Belle, Tabaquite MP Anita Haynes said while the focus has been on laptops, consideration must also be given to students who have no access to the internet.

She said since Finance Minister Colm Imbert spoke about MIFI technology there has been no other update.

Commenting on the JSC Joint Select Committee on Social Services and Public Administration, Haynes said it painted a damning transition into blended learning.

“It is a very scary situation for T&T since we are talking about an entire generation of students for T&T that do not have access to education, not even quality education at this point but education full stop.”

She also suggested that the Ministry of Education consider bringing out more students in February in schools with the capacity to safely accommodate them and in keeping with COVID-19 protocols.