Taipei, June 16 (CNA) The ASUS Foundation in Taiwan has made a matching donation of 50 laptops after the Embassy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) purchased the same number to deliver to teachers in the parts of the Caribbean country that were hardest hit by a major volcanic eruption last year, the embassy said on Wednesday.
As part of a “benevolent partnership,” the multinational computer hardware and consumer electronics company delivered 100 laptops to the SVG embassy on June 8, according to an embassy press release.
Half of the laptops were purchased directly from ASUS at a specially discounted price, and the company matched 50 units, SVG Taiwan Ambassador Andrea Bowman told CNA in a follow-up interview Thursday. .
“We contacted the ASUS Foundation, told them that we would like to purchase 50 laptops, and we invite you to partner with us by donating an additional 50, so that we can send 100 of these laptops to Saint -Vincent and the Grenadines for teachers, especially in the red and orange areas (of the volcano) who will work with children there,” Bowman said.
Children at 18 elementary and secondary schools in areas designated red and orange in SVG have been taking hybrid lessons – some online and some in person – since the eruption of the La Soufrière volcano last year that prompted the evacuation of thousands of people, and also due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Bowman.
In an effort to help these students access online education, Taiwanese sportswear company SHEICO donated 150 tablet computers to SVG last November through its embassy in Taipei, Bowman said.
“That’s what we’re working on, a blended approach with a gradual return to face-to-face (learning), but as things stand we can never say the pandemic is over,” Bowman said. .
Efforts by the SVG Embassy to assist in the country’s recovery from the April 9, 2021 volcanic eruption also resulted in a pledge of more than 850,000 Taiwan dollars (US$30,579) by the New Branch. Taipei of the Tunghai University Alumni Association at a fundraising luncheon last November, Bowman said. , adding that some of the money was used to purchase ASUS’ 50 laptops.
Also, in the same month, Tunghai University and the SVG Embassy signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Tunghai International Elite Culture Program, which will grant Saint Vincent and the Grenadines a total of 40 scholarships over a five-year period, she said.
Expressing her appreciation for the efforts of Taiwanese companies and Tunghai University, Bowman said she also hoped Taiwanese would start investing in SVG to deepen and strengthen bilateral relations, as there are currently no Taiwanese investors. in his country.
“I’m aware of the global challenges for businesses around the world right now, the disruption of supply chains and things like that, but that’s why we need to find new partnerships, we need to enter into new alliances , make new connections,” she said. “And I think Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a perfect fit for this new partnership.”
Taiwan and the SVG established diplomatic relations in 1981, resulting in more than 40 years of warm ties that were further cemented by 10 visits to Taiwan by SVG Premier Ralph Gonsalves.