Post-Hurricane Student Welfare Fund

Students at the Interamerican School of Aeronautics Puerto Rico  have been gravely affected by the impact of Hurricane Maria on 20th September 2017. The vast majority are still without mains electricity at home as I create this fund on 16th November, and a significant proportion (more than a third) still do not have mains water. The Hurricane has damaged their homes, possessions and cars, and placed intense stressors upon family life. Student health and wellbeing is being affected by the daily difficulties of living on the island right now; simple stresses, such as the roads being gridlocked without traffic lights, the inability to access the fridge for most of the day (when the home generator, if they own one, is not running), the lack of wifi and cable, the inability to charge your phone at home, the significant extra cost of running diesel generators for a few hours a day.  Despite this our students are maintaining an impressive attendance at University. This even though power at the campus also comes and goes and when the power goes out there is no AC or lighting. Yesterday in 85F I taught 20 students sat on the floor in the corridor because the classroom was too hot and dark without electricity.

The students are evidently remarkable, and a daily inspiration to the Faculty, but to remain resilient and complete their studies some support is desperately needed. This fund is to help them in small ways to improve their daily welfare and thereby help them complete their degrees. We intend to purchase items including a number of multi-plugs and USB charging stations for students, with squishy chairs to sit on and wait for their phone/laptop to charge, a microwave for heating food and a small sound system to make the student-rooms more like a home from home. We would also like to provide water filters and water purification tablets for students to take home, hand sanitzer, batteries, torches, plastic cutlery and plates, dry shampoo, personal alarms for greater student security at night on the dark, unlit streets and other useful personal items to improve their quality of life in small but meaningful ways whilst the island undergoes a lengthy recovery.

All kind donations will go directly to support student welfare.
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Victoria Thorpe 
San Juan, PR
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