U of L employee part of Rotary project to bring technology to schools in Dominica

In September, 2017, Hurricane Maria decimated the island country of Dominica, destroying its lush landscape and flattening every building in its path.

In November, Jake Cameron, systems support specialist with the U of L Library, spent two weeks helping with a Rotary International project to provide and set up information technologies in 23 primary schools in Dominica.

“We worked eight- to 12-hour days but they never felt that long,” says Cameron. “We all were happy to be making a difference in the lives of the teachers and children in these schools.”

The $1.5-million project was coordinated with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources in Dominica and provided more than 1,700 Chromebooks and other vital classroom infrastructure, including network switches and wireless access points, to the region.

The work is not complete and the IT for Dominica Foundation will continue to maintain and develop on the foundation built by Cameron and his colleagues. The IT for Dominica Foundation is a volunteer organization that partners with public entities in Canada and the Commonwealth of Dominica to provide contemporary education to students and teachers in Dominica.

“Seeing students smile when they were able to use the technology made this project so worthwhile,” Cameron said. “Being a part of bringing them from little to no classroom technology to being able to use these devices to further their education was an honour for me. We sometimes forget how lucky we are to jump on a computer or our phone and be connected.

“I am so grateful the University allowed me this opportunity. I have to thank Chris Nicol and Allan Gergel for their support.”