Feb 28, 2020
Report on the Computer for The World Project 2020
An overall view of the Computers for the World Project during February 16-26, 2020.

The Rotary Club of Antigua in partnership with the Belleview Breakfast Rotary Club has just completed a successful computer distribution and poin Rotary Club t to point wireless access networking project in the Government schools in Antigua.

This Partnership Computer Project of The Rotary Club of Antigua, with the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club of Washington State, USA is now in the twelfth year.

The theme for this year: Improving Education Through Technology Antigua 2020

The Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club, partners with the Newport High School Cisco Academy, and the Kirkland Downtown Rotary Club of Washington State, USA; and the Mill Reef Foundation, to effectively conduct this project here in Antigua & Barbuda.

This year fourteen (14) Cisco Academy Trained IT students, four (4) IT teachers and six (6) Rotarians came to Antigua on Saturday February 15, 2020. All the students were accommodated in the homes of Rotarians, and the adults paid for their own accommodation at the Halcyon Resort.

Months before the team arrives in Antigua, John Martinka of the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club and Cordel Josiah of the Rotary Club of Antigua negotiate and finalize all project plans with the Ministry of Education and the Board of Education as to the needs and requirements in the Schools.

These visitors while on island, arrange themselves into four teams with the IT students working around the island, installing Point to Point Wireless Access Point Wi-Fi in the school’s compound, so that effective internet can be accessed throughout the school plants.  This year five hundred (500) laptop computers were brought into the island, and over twenty Government Primary Schools on the island received Wi-Fi Point to Point Access, and laptop computers for their labs. This installation of Wi-Fi and installation of Computers started from Monday February 17th until Tuesday February 25th.

Over the past twelve years, Rotary has donated over three thousand five hundred (3,500) computers to the educational system in Antigua & Barbuda.

In 2011 we installed Two Video Tele-Conferencing Equipment; one in Antigua at the Antigua State College, and the other at the Sir Mac Chesney George High School in Barbuda; so that when the Teacher Training course is being conducted here in Antigua; the Barbudan Teachers can be at the School in Barbuda viewing and receiving the same training.

This year 2020 John Martinka and Jeff Mason of the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club, made a significant donation to the Board of Education and the Ministry of Information of two Internet testing Equipment valued at over US$45,000.00 each.

The Rotary Foundation feels that with all this donation of computers to the schools, that the teachers should be also trained, thus five years ago Rotary embarked on training the teachers which is now ongoing through ilabGlobal Inc., for all teachers in the primary schools to be trained in effectively using the computer and communicating with the students through internet technology.

This year a Community Assessment was conducted in the schools with the teachers and students to better understand their needs and how we can better serve them in the future.

This partnership also includes a Sewing Project with the Kirkland Downtown Rotary Club of Washington State, which partners with The Ballantyne Family of Mill Reef Club. This year on February 18th, 2020 we launched a new sewing project in Willikies Village with the Sons & Daughters of Willikies. This brings to eight the amount of Rotary Sewing Projects established on the island. The other communities with Rotary sewing projects are Greenbay, Freetown, New Winthorpes, Pigotts Village, Liberta Village, Bolans Village and in the City West Community. These sewing projects combined have trained over four hundred (400) women to learn how to sew.

A post mortem meeting between the Rotary Club of Antigua, The Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club and the Kirkland Downtown Rotary Club of Washington State was held on the evening of Tuesday 25th to access the success of the 2020 project, and to plan the way forward for the 2021 project.

The visiting team left the island on Wednesday 26th February 2020.