BTC Brings Hi-Speed Internet To Cat Island Children’s Home

Monday 07th, May 2012 / 08:46 Published by

Pictured L-R: Patricia Walters, VP Customer Services, Jerome Sawyer, BTC Senior Manager Public Relations, Naaman Ellis, BTC Senior Manager Cat Island & Eleuthera, Myra Mitchell, BTC Manager IT Project Management Office, Cat Island Home Administrator Cindy Moss, Carl Culmer, BTC VP Field Operations.

A group of less fortunate children in Cat Island now have access to the latest in high-speed internet technology thanks to the generosity of BTC and the company’s employee volunteer program called ivolunteer. Just recently a team of BTC executives and employees visited the home in Old Bight to witness the company’s charitable initiative at work.

The Cat Island visit is the first in a series of volunteer programs by BTC employees. The ivolunteer initiative seeks to establish and develop a sense of pride in the community while engendering teamwork among colleagues. This initial donation amounted to more than $15,000 with a total ongoing pledge of $100,000 from the company.

“The Cat Island Children’s home was the perfect place to begin this initiative,” said BTC’s CEO Geoff Houston. “Our goal is to reach those remote communities in the Family Islands. We also recognized that this home is operating virtually unknown to many Bahamians.”

With the flip of a switch BTC brought the facility racing into the 21st century with a donation of four computers, an all-in-one printer/scanner/fax, a Vibe phone and 8mb hi-speed internet service for the 15 children who call this property home.

“It’s really going to help these kids with their school work,” said Cindy Moss, Cat Island Children’s Home Administrator. “For instance, when they have projects in school, I would have to find someone to take them to the nearby computer lab. But now we have our own computer lab.  We can go online and search and find out the information so we really appreciate all that BTC has done for us.”

In December, while visiting the Children’s Emergency Hostel in Nassau, BTC’s CEO Geoff Houston was so moved by the experience he challenged employees with finding out how BTC could reach more children in similar circumstances. Of the seven homes nationwide, the ivolunteer program has targeted two so far with Cat Island’s home being the first.

Through the hard work of the company’s employees at all levels, a space that housed one unreliable PC is now home to a fully functional lab that provides support for educational and recreational activities for youngsters ranging from five to 12-years-old. The home’s residents now enjoy a variety of experiences at the same speed and with the same reliability as the busiest financial institution or hotel in Nassau with high-speed internet access via BTC’s next generation network (NGN).

“This donation exposes these children to an entirely different way of life. They can now explore any country, learn about new cultures, learn how to navigate through the technology and become as computer literate as any other child anywhere in the world,” said BTC’s Senior Manager of Public Relations Jerome Sawyer.

“If we are investing millions in upgrading the technology and providing universal access, that access has to be for all people of The Bahamas, regardless of where you live or your circumstances. Our CEO Geoff Houston has taken a special interest in the welfare and advancement of our family island residents, and we are going to ensure that we make that happen though programs like ivolunteer and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).  This program is not just about investing money, we want our employees to be a part as well, and give back to their communities.”

In addition to the high-tech upgrade, BTC donated two commercial washing machines to the home. The company also sought to revitalize the exterior of the home by shipping 20 variations of fruit and palm trees. A shipment of gardening supplies and manpower were a part of the care package, to help beautify the property surrounding the home.

A similar donation with planned physical upgrades is slated for the Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home in Nassau in the near future.

Alexavia Dorsett
Diane Phillips & Associates

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