Virus-fighting donation aims to help keep children safe in school

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Businessman Mark Raab and partner Wiktoria Kopycka shipped the items to Antigua aboard a private plane (Photos contributed)
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As children return to the classroom after months of remote learning, the battle to keep them and their loved ones safe from the coronavirus has been given a helping hand.

Part-time Antiguan resident Mark Raab has donated 10,000 surgical facemasks and thousands of disinfectant wipes for use in schools and churches across the island.

The items – brought in aboard a private jet with support from broker LunaJets – are being distributed by Pastor Deshorn David to help ensure they reach those most in need.

The Dutch businessman, who owns a home in Jolly Harbour, told Observer he was keen to help the country with which he first fell in love three decades ago.

“With the reopening of schools it is all the more important to do what we can to prevent the spread of the virus and protect our communities,” he said.

“I hope to inspire more people to bring donations to the island that many of us have come to call home.”

The shipment is the latest in a series of virus-fighting gifts Raab has made to Antigua this year, which includes 75,000 facemasks since the start of the pandemic. It will be followed by an additional 24,000 masks arriving later this month.

And this time, it’s not just the island’s human residents set to benefit. Raab’s animal lover partner Wiktoria Kopycka loaded a cache of pet food, and flea and tick medicine onto the plane too which will be handed over to rescue shelter PAAWS.

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