Students from low income households and vulnerable communities have been assisted in their preparation for this academic year by being provided with some of the school items required to continue their educational journey.
Dominica’s Representative for the Commonwealth Students Association, Jonathan Jones has provide this assistance to the students in a project entitled ‘Operation BackPack’.
Jones said at the Operation BackPack handing over ceremony recently, that upon his appointment, his two main focuses were strategic networking and assisting young persons.
“After the passage of Hurricane Maria and Tropical Storm Ericka many businesses closed their doors leaving individuals without a stable form of employment and a source of income. When the parents are unemployed and have no means to provide for their children, the child will suffer,” he said
He continued, “Up to this very day, even with all the strides, Dominica has taken since then, we as a people and as a country, still have more [to do] to make Dominica an education centered country. Upon my appointment as Dominica’s Representative for the Commonwealth Students Association two focus points were on my personal mandate which were strategic networking and assisting young individuals from vulnerable communities.”
Jones added this initiative has, in two phases, targetted students who reside in different parts of the island.
“This helps parents cope with one of the most expensive milestones they must confront each year. Operation BackPack has now been organized in two phases. Phase 1 targets children from Roseau and environs while Phase 2 targets children from the rural communities of Dominica as assumptions can be made that children from rural communities are more susceptible to poverty and disenfranchisement,” he said.
The recipients received school bags containing exercise books, water bottles, stationery, calculators, geometry sets and other essential items.
The beneficiaries were suggested by members of their communities, members of civil society and other relevant stakeholders in the education sector.