WAM HIGHLANDS, NEW JERSEY, 16th July 2013 (WAM) — The Embassy of the UAE in Washington, USA, has donated US $ 4.5 million to help 30 schools in the US state of New Jersey to recover from the impact of the devastating Hurricane Sandy which hit the region last year.
The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Highlands Elementary School attended by the Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, his First Lady, Pat Christie, and the UAE Ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba.
The donation has been made to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund (HSNJRF), chaired by Mrs. Christie, and will help rebuild and repair the technological infrastructure at 30 public schools in nine school districts throughout the state that were significantly impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
According to a statement issued by the Fund, “The UAE Embassy gift, made on behalf of the people of the UAE, will help address critical technology needs, such as infrastructure construction to increase internet bandwidth capacity, wiring and hardware for instructional areas, acquisition of mobile computing devices for faculty and students, and additional training for teachers and administrators. ” It quoted Governor Christie as saying, “Superstorm Sandy brought unprecedented destruction to New Jersey, including more than $40 million in damages to our schools. While our state has made great strides to re-open our schools, this donation will undoubtedly relieve some of the burden placed on New Jersey’s hardest hit towns and help enhance our students’ use of technology as they enjoy a normal return to school this fall. On behalf of the people of New Jersey, I want to thank Ambassador Al Otaiba and the UAE Embassy for this generous and important donation.” Mrs Christie added, “The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund is extremely grateful for this generous donation from the UAE Embassy. This contribution will repair and improve technology resources to provide many students in the hardest hit towns with the means they need to succeed.” “The entire world was touched by the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy last year. Given the scope of this disaster, we felt it was important to provide assistance,” Yousef Al Otaiba commented. “This programme will be a small piece to help dozens of schools and thousands of kids around New Jersey by repairing and upgrading schools that were hit by the storm.” Approximately 20,000 students will benefit from the improvements that will be made as a result of the UAE gift. These include students at public schools in communities that are still rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy. The technology and infrastructure upgrades will help these schools exceed pre-Sandy conditions and implement the Common Core State Standards, established by the New Jersey State Board of Education and New Jersey Department of Education. By addressing these critical technology needs in schools, affected communities can better direct their attention to other recovery-related work, the Fund’s statement said.