NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Leno Learning Link’s goal of putting a tablet in the hands of every student in The Bahamas moved a step closer to fulfillment yesterday when Citi made a donation of $45,000 to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to provide tablets for students in some of the most economically challenged communities on New Providence.
Citi was the latest to join dozens of donors coming forward to join the Leno Learning Link, a campaign created by the financial services firm in September.
Leno Trust Managing Director Dianne Bingham said: “When Leno kicked off this campaign at what would have been the beginning of a normal school year with the resumption of in-person classes, the goal seemed so ambitious as to be almost a dream.
“Today, this generous donation by Citi, which filters through to the IOM to put tablets in the hands of students in the Kemp Road, St James Road area and other communities that are especially economically challenged, puts us one step closer to making that dream a reality.”
Bingham’s remarks came after a press conference at the Ministry of Education where Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd noted that “at last, there is a light at the end of the tunnel”.
“When Leno kicked off the Leno Learning Link initiative with a $60,000 donation and the ambitious goal of putting a tablet in every student’s hand, the Department of Education calculated that there were approximately 41,000 students who were in need of a proper learning device that would enable them to participate in virtual learning,” he said.
As he noted that the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Department of Education to condense its five-year virtual learning rollout into a single school year, Lloyd added: “Today, with this extremely generous donation by Citi through the International Organization for Migration, and the many others that have been made, we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.”
According to the education minister, only 6,000 more tablets are needed to fulfill the ultimate goal.
Lloyd also said he was particularly touched to learn where the donation of tablets was going, as he grew up in the Kemp Road area and appreciates that community’s challenges as many buildings still do not have electricity or bathrooms.
Citi CCO Margaret Butler said the company was happy to be able to add its support to education in The Bahamas, adding that the donation reaffirms Citi’s “commitment to support economic growth and development in The Bahamas”.
With funds being processed through Leno Foundation in partnership with Aliv, the Ministry of Education was able to purchase tablets at the greatly reduced price of $124 per tablet alone or about $175 with three months of high-speed connectivity, including My-Fi.
Leno Learning Link expressed thanks to Citi, the IOM, Aliv and the numerous other donors and organizations that have come forward to assist.