Digicel, IDB to use tech to map special needs schools, institutions for disaster prep

Above: (L-R) Rocio Bolivar-Medina, Country Representative, Trinidad and Tobago, Inter-American Development Bank,Penny Gomez, CEO, Digicel Foundation and Desha Clifford, Chairperson, Digicel Foundation at the signing of the Agreement. Photo courtesy Digicel.

The Digicel Foundation Preparing You! Programme exposes persons with special needs and their caregivers to the fundamentals of disaster preparedness, and emergency evacuation.

The Foundation has previously collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) to provide assessment, training and support in disaster preparedness to eight schools for students with intellectual disabilities in and around Trinidad and Tobago.

In taking the Preparing You! Programme a step further, the Digicel Foundation signed an Agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank on November 21, who will act as an administrator of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

The Fund will provide the means to roll out an enhanced solution to an additional 10 schools and related facilities for persons with special needs in urban Trinidad. Through the partnership with the Multilateral Investment Fund, the approach will be expanded and augmented using technology and tools for training and mapping of institutions. This will facilitate the relevant disaster response agencies to provide a more prioritized approach system.

It is estimated that approximately 900 persons between the ages of 7 to 55 with intellectual disabilities, such as: autism, Down syndrome, cognitive disabilities, cerebral palsy, dyslexia and persons who use wheel-chairs, would benefit from this project.