Charity gives Churches £130,000 to supply computers to vulnerable children

Leading disaster relief agency Samaritan’s Purse have procured 130,000 worth of laptops and tablets to help meet the new and equally pressing needs of children learning in challenging circumstances.

Through the UK’s third lockdown, and even with schools due to return on 8th March, the ever growing need for electronic devices to support learning; the risk of school bubbles being kept at home due to positive tests; or even future school closures, will continue to affect many. The ’Learning in Lockdown’ initiative hopes to equip local churches to meet the pressing needs of those in their communities, and  hopes to ensure as many children as possible are supported to be able to be all they can.

The ever growing need for electronic devices to support learning; the risk of school bubbles being kept at home due to positive tests; or even future school closures, means some children could continue to be seriously disadvantaged. ‘Learning in Lockdown’ hopes to instead support these children to be able to be all they can.

‘Learning in Lockdown’ continues the charity’s ‘This is Love’ campaign, which after launching in March 2020 saw 500churches, organisations and community groups receive either free PPE kits or emergency cash grants to help meet the urgent needs within their local community. The range of laptops and tablets – all which fulfil UK government requirements – are ready and equipped for online learning and are available now for applications.

Darren Tosh, UK Executive Director of Samaritan’s Purse says,

“Our experience in disaster areas around the world has taught us that during times of crisis like this, meaningful partnerships can be forged between churches and their communities. We want to stand in the gap for churches and organisations helping to care for those facing the challenges that come with home-learning, and hope a small gift of a laptop or tablet will make a big difference in the life of a child struggling to engage with school in this challenging season.”

Churches are able to select the age of the child in need.  Tablets have been purchased for children in lower primary school (years one-four), while basic laptops have been provided for children in school years five and above. Included inside each pack is a card with a message of encouragement for the child who will receive it.

Age 5 pupil, Stanley, received a new tablet through his local church. From his home in Glasgow and with the help of his mum, he recorded a video message to say.

“I am very thankful for my new tablet. I’m able to do my homework.’

He held up his new device to the camera, while his mum explained that Stanley was now able to easily access Maths, spelling and grammar exercises provided by the school.

Rev Malcolm J. Duncan, Lead Pastor at Dundonald Elim Church received six laptops and four devices for children within his community. He says, “These devices makes a real and lasting difference in the lives of children and their families. This initiative not only answers a crucial need now, and demonstrates faith in action, it also alleviates a huge pressure for families that otherwise would not be able to help their children with access to a device. In addition, this simple act of love offers a brighter and better future to these children and their families.”

Tosh continues,

“To date we have purchased 530 laptops and tablets. We are so grateful for the support from Love Your Neighbour, through the Church Revitalisation Trust, who have agreed to match every gift we receive for this project up to £65,000. Hopefully, through this, we can supply even more devices to ensure children don’t fall behind.”

Churches, organisations and community groups can apply for laptops and tablets for members of their community through Samaritan’s Purse website:

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