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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Friday, March 28, 2014

BlackBerry phones supporting social capital in Haiti

This morning, I read that BlackBerry revenues for the past quarter were weaker than predicted. I'm sure there will be announcements about job cuts. Another bad news day for BB.

But that's not the end of the story.

At least not in Haiti.

Last week, 25 BlackBerry phones were distributed to school leaders across Haiti. These school leaders are with a private school network associated with the Baptist church. There are 68,000 students in their schools, often serving the most marginalized communities in Haiti. The phones will allow the leaders to stay connected and to share resources. The superintendent of these schools, Solect Jean Baptiste, is eager to equip his key leaders with the professional knowledge they need to be effective leaders and he sees the BB phones as critical to this process.
I read with interest that the president of Haiti (Martelly) gave a medal of honour to the founder of this association, Wallace Turnbull. Here's a link to the story if you are interested (click on the text): Turnbull Decorated by President Martelly

It's not just this school association that is being helped. Another 20 phones were given to our partner Projects for Haiti to distribute to their key leaders. Thirty phones and tablets are being used by College de la Grace in Pignon. We have distributed 25 other phones to school leaders throughout Haiti in the past. We will take another 40 phones and tablets for other partner schools when we are in Haiti in May.

All because of the support of BlackBerry.

So, BlackBerry is making negative headlines in North America today. But in Haiti, they are impacting the social capital of the country.

For more than a financial quarter.

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