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WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 07, 2022: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- Residents of Bunsee Trace and La Costena recently welcomed the opening of two Digicel Foundation Technology in Education (TIE) Centres in their respective community centres. Although the centres were a necessity for the communities, the residents were also reeling from the after effects of recent inclement weather conditions within Trinidad and Tobago.

Digicel Foundation CEO Penny Gomez and Digicel+ General Manager Jason Matthews visited both of the Penal communities last week with a total of 50 hampers valued at TT$15,000 on hand to be distributed. Twenty five hampers were handed over in each community which will lend assistance to fifty families.

Penal is one of the rural communities pinpointed through collaboration between Ministry of Sport and Community Development and the Digicel Foundation to benefit from two of four TIE Centres. The implementation of the technology spaces is an effort to bridge the digital gap in rural communities, a divide further compounded by the effects of Covid 19. Other centres have been set up in La Horquetta Village Plaza and Tobago Pan-Thers. Utilising a budget of US$28,807, each of the spaces have been outfitted with five computers, one printer, furniture as needed (Desk/Chairs/ Tables/Shelving, AC units), 1-year free high-speed internet courtesy of Digicel+.

Vice President of the Bunsee Trace/Penal Rock Road Village Council, Mr. Kubir Rampersad stated “The gap between those who have access to a computer and internet and those without existed long before COVID 19.” He said, “So many persons still do not own a TV and computer or know how to use one, young and old. This is a dream come true for many as it opens the door to the World Wide Web.”

General Manager of Digicel +, Jason Matthews shared, “Through the Digicel Foundation we are transforming communities.  We don’t just want to sell you, we want to serve you, and be part of what matters to your community. This is why Digicel + did not hesitate to provide the much-needed internet access to these communities.”

·Penny Gomez, CEO of the Digicel Foundation reassured both communities that they were not forgotten. “We are your partners for life; this is why we felt that giving you the Technology in Education Centres was just not enough. We thought about the floods, about how you are generally getting by with the cost of living increasing. So, in the season of giving, we decided to do a hamper distribution in both communities. It’s a small gift but the greatest is the access to these centres and we can’t wait to see them being fully utilized.”