Laptops for Moms on Molokai
Office of Keani Rawlins-Fernandez News Release
At her March 30th virtual town hall meeting, Maui County Council Vice-Chair Keani Rawlins-Fernandez announced plans to distribute 20 Dell laptops to mothers and female caregivers with children in preschool to 12th grade, living on the island of Molokai.
“Our moms on Molokai are working so hard, raising and supporting their families,” said Rawlins-Fernandez. “With COVID forcing so many mothers to work from home, the situation has only compounded the need for technological support in their households.”
The computers were made available by the Hawaii Commission on the Status of Woman, an attached agency of DHS, that secured $250,000 in new laptops for single moms throughout Hawaii to combat gender tech inequity during the pandemic. The laptops were generously provided by a private donor with assistance of KD Chavez, outgoing chair of the Honolulu County Committee on the Status of Women. The laptops have already been distributed on Oahu, and Maui, and thanks to a donated flight by Mokulele Airlines, Molokai’s laptops have arrived safely for distribution.
This digital equity campaign was prompted by overwhelming feedback from the Commission’s “Single Moms + COVID-19” survey, conducted in June 2020. The survey highlighted a compelling response to the challenges moms have encountered since the pandemic began.
In August 2020, the Commission completed a survey of single mothers across the state and found that 87 percent of single mothers had lost ability to access basic needs such as food, shelter and medication during the COVID-19 crisis and 39 percent reported no tech access to perform telework or distance learning for their children.
The laptops will help enable moms to better adapt to an increased demand for telework and their children’s distance learning requirements due to school closures.