FRIDAY APRIL 22, 2022: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – The Maracas Bay Community Council officially launched its brand new internet café in their community centre this week. The café has five computers, a functioning AC unit, a printer/copier and suitable desks and chairs. This is the third internet café being launched in the North Coast. Earlier this month Internet Cafés were launched in neighbouring communities of Blanchisseuse and La Fillette where representatives from the North Coast Committee Kevin Quintero, Petronilla Lee Quay and Leiba James shared that the new internet cafés will make an indelible impact on their North Coast communities.
The global pandemic exposed the disadvantage that many children and families from rural communities face as it relates to reliable internet connectivity. Moreso, students have been adversely affected as a result of the shift to online educational learning. The Digicel Foundation partnered with the Ministry of Sport and Community Development to unroll the project, as part of the Ministry’s National Policy on Sustainable Community Development Initiative that encourages donors to adopt a community.
La Toya Gopaul, Digicel + Telesales Manager and Board Director Digicel Foundation was also present and especially pleased to announce that Maracas Bay will receive one year’s free high speed broadband connection for the internet café. Mrs Gopaul shared, ‘The relationships and ideas unearthed by the collaboration with the public sector, continue to unfold before us today, and the seeds of this energy continues to find fertile soil in the imagination and dedication of the people of the North Coast, who love their communities and dream of a prosperous future for those who will come after and The Digicel Foundation is happy to be part of that future.”
The Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe, Minister of Sport and Community Development was on hand for this auspicious occasion. The Honourable Minister shared her own story about how internet access at a friend’s house as a child opened her eyes and doors to a world of education and opportunities. In addressing the role and importance of the private sector in projects of this nature, Minister Cudjoe reminded those present that the Government lays the ground work and it is for the people in the communities to come forward and make the best of opportunities provided. The Honourable Minister praised the work of Digicel and the Digicel Foundation for its promise of expanding rural connectivity and assisting the communities to utilize its services. She also commended her predecessor Dr the Honourable Nyan Gadsby Dolly who initiated the Sustainable Communities initiative.