More than nine months after Hurricane Iota destroyed homes and businesses on the small Colombian islands of San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Colombia continues to assist the people living there. In July 2021, ADRA workers delivered 90 new computers to the Ministry of Education for use in five schools located in San Andres and Providencia.
Upon learning that several schools were under reconstruction after Hurricane Iota, ADRA Colombia discovered that many schools lacked computers or computer labs, Jair Flórez, ADRA Colombia director, said. The government of the small islands selected the five schools that would receive the computers through the office of Lucila Morales, secretary of education on Providencia Island.
“We thank ADRA for turning their attention to the students here on Providencia Island with the donation of computers which will be of great use to them,” Morales said. “This will strengthen all the educational subjects.”
The computers will benefit nearly 1,000 children and adolescent students enrolled in the designated schools, Flórez said. In addition, the Adventist school in San Andres received 10 new computers from ADRA.
The ADRA Colombia team and church leaders traveled to San Andres to deliver the computers on July 13, 2021. “ADRA believes in education, and we are here to hand over these devices that will undoubtedly contribute so that children can develop the educational process together with their teachers in the best way,” Edgar Redondo, president of the North Colombian Union Conference of the Adventist Church, said.
This initiative, which was coined as “Computers of Hope,” will help students strengthen their reading and computer skills and all their academic classes to continue learning as they grow, ADRA leaders said. “We want them to feel that Colombia is here for them and is covering each one of their needs,” Flórez said.
Since Hurricane Iota hit the Colombian islands in November 2020, the Adventist Church and ADRA Colombia have assisted in the clean-up and have provided food and supplies to dozens of families. In addition, ADRA deployed several tons of humanitarian aid from Puerto Rico to provide emergency shelter for victims and support the reconstruction project in the archipelago.