Saint Lucia, now more than ever we have to be our brother’s and sister’s keeper.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party recognises the high unemployment, the uncertainty, the fear and the Government’s neglect of our nation.
We see your tears and feel your pain. Where possible we have shared our personal resources with you to ensure that at least our children, the children of Saint Lucia are taken care of.
We have seen citizens, businesses and organisations step in to provide assistance and your labour has not gone unnoticed, we thank you.
With the reopening of school, this year we have experienced an overwhelming number of requests for educational assistance from persons who would have otherwise been able to afford.
We have noted the increased costs, especially with the need for laptops and tablets, an essential learning tool, something we recognised and sought to address from 2012 by providing laptops to students.
If this programme had continued, at least every household in Saint Lucia with children would have at least access to a smart device. Had our islandwide GiNet – internet programme continued, our children would be able to access their online learning without the added financial burden to parents.
However, this is not the reality, this UWP Government does not care, and they have prioritised roads to nowhere over food and educational support for all. Therefore, as citizens, it is our responsibility to support each other, especially when the state continues to fail.
So what can we do as a village? How do we raise our children in this changed world, to ensure that their education and emotional wellbeing are not compromised? The following are for your consideration and action:
Donate a laptop/tablet to a child or school
Technicians offer to restore or repair a device for free or at a discounted price
Give WiFi access to children in your community
Offer to print work from a teacher for students without a device
Graduates, volunteer at a school/HRDC to give afterschool lessons, especially in Math & English
Schools, relax the dress code for students
Barbers and hairstylists, offer a free service to a child
Volunteer to assist teachers who now have to prepare for in school and online teaching
Artists, musicians and athletes, volunteer at schools to provide therapeutic activities to provide students with an outlet
Farmers and vendors, donate to schools’ feeding programmes.
The Government, please find the resources to ensure that every child has a laptop or tablet
Bring back the GiNet (WiFi) to all communities
Use the state media (GIS) to teach curricula
This list is not exhaustive, feel free to add your recommendations. If you cannot assist, offer a prayer. If you cannot help, do no hurt – our children require safe spaces and people now more than ever.
The task ahead may seem daunting, but know that a Labour Government will always put you first, the people of Saint Lucia. Until such time, let us be that village for our children as they head back to school.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
God Bless our Children and our Nation