(CMR) Several community-minded businessmen have joined forces yet again to assist Caymanian school students with a donation of over 15 HP laptops across the island. Michael Myles of Inspire Cayman Training (ICT) and local attorney Alric Lindsay decided to assist students with the laptop donation after they recognized that many are struggling to fully participate in their mandatory online classrooms during the current pandemic.
The donation will benefit students across the island including 10 in George Town that received their laptops yesterday.
Cayman students have been forced to embrace online learning on short notice after the government shut down all schools and businesses in late March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has left many parents ill-prepared to fully address the technology needs of their children. Both Myles and Lindsay have now stepped up to the plate to assist some of those in need. They have both have pulled funds from their personal resources and pooled together $7,000 to make this donation a reality.
Explaining his desire to help with this latest initiative Myles shared:
“there have been many heroes in my life that have taught me the value of a good education: my mother Grace Myles, Gillie Seymour, Winston Chung, Richard Marshall, Lorna Lumsden just to name a few.
In perhaps one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries in the world, no child in the Cayman Islands should have to be taught from their parent’s cellphone. I am saddened that this is the case. Education must be equitable for all Caymanians despite circumstances if we are serious about producing responsible citizens and leaders to move our country forward. I am honored and privileged to be in a position to give back to our families as I once was provided for.”
Lindsay also shared his motivation for the laptop donation was very personal:
“The reason this area of need got my attention was because my friend was sharing her cellphone with her children so they could do schoolwork. But when she had to go to work, it disrupted the children's studies as she needed the cellphone for work purposes. The laptops file this gap.”
It is extremely difficult for parents during the COVID-19 pandemic to find $500 in their budget to purchase a laptop. Some parents also don’t have the contacts in big companies to get hold of used laptops. I was happy to help bridge the gap and assist these parents and students”.
CMR understands that the government has a waiting list of over 1,500 students that require a laptop/computer to be able to fully engage in their virtual classrooms.
Myles and Lindsay set the stage for community partnerships
The community partnership of Myles and Lindsay is actually not a new one but dates back many years and has seen many others benefit from their generosity.
Longtime primary school friends, the two have a bond that started when they both attended George Town Primary School “back in the day”. Myles's path saw him become an educator and youth worker whilst Lindsay first became a CPA and then corporate attorney.
Earlier in the month, the duo paired up with the help of a private donor and the Cayman Food Bank to raise $10,000. This donation benefited CAYS Foundation, Myles's former employer which offers home care facilities for at-risk children at both the Frances Bodden and Bonaventure Homes. The homes received a variety of much-needed items including laptops, food supplies, and personal protective equipment including face mask and hand sanitizers.
In April they partnered again to donate to their childhood alma mater, George Town Primary School. This time $2,000.00 of personal funds was donated to ensure the primary school children are able to continue receiving critical school lunches during the pandemic.
As they both continue to play an integral part in building Cayman's social infrastructure through charitable work they shared with CMR what motivates them to be so selfless in their giving.
Lindsay works tirelessly as a volunteer with the Cayman Islands Food Bank and can be found on the streets of Cayman most days delivering food to the island's needy via the Meals on Wheels organization and food bank.
Mr. Myles operates his TVET training center that provides Caymanians with employability and technical skills including a prison reintegration program.