JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The centre will be collaborating with the HEART TRUST/NTA to offer the courses.
  • Students, in particular, are heavily utilizing the facility for their school work.
  • The centre will enhance the empowerment of citizens and create another avenue of socialization and learning.

In another two weeks scores of young people in Trelawny, will benefit from the introduction of a computer training programme at the Falmouth ICT Youth Empowerment Computer Access Centre.

The centre, which officially opened its doors to the public last July, will be collaborating with the HEART TRUST/NTA to offer the courses.

President of the Cave Island Citizens Association, Prudence Rose-Strachan, tells JIS News, that since its opening two months ago the centre has been impacting the lives of citizens in a positive way. She says students, in particular, are heavily utilizing the facility for their school work.

“We have persons, old and young, accessing the computers. Persons come in for printing, writing letters and different things; (and) the children (come in) from the schools,” Mrs. Rose-Strachan informs.

She explains that the soon to be instituted computer training will be for everyone.  “There is a great need, and it is impacting on the young people…we are here for the children, and we are here for the adults; no matter how old you are, and you want to know how to use the computer, you can come right here and we will always welcome you.  I am feeling so glad to know that persons who could not, can now access the computers.  I am feeling empowered,” she informs.

At the opening ceremony in July, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM), Hon. Phillip Paulwell, had lauded the partnership between the Cave Island Citizen Association, the Social Development Commission (SDC), and other agencies, to establish the centre which was equipped with 25 computers and other gadgets, donated by the Universal Service Fund.

“What is here is to enhance our capabilities to earn more for ourselves and to get our communities to be developed; and we are looking forward to this area (becoming) first world in terms of ICT. Treat the equipment well,” the Minister had urged his audience.

The project has since then received the full support of the community. Sub Officer in Charge of Community Safety and Security, Trelawny Police Division, Corporal Wayne Wallace, tells JIS News that his colleagues encourage persons to use the centre, whenever they attend outreach meetings. He further informs that the cops have been teaching young people to use the computers at the centre.

“During our community meetings, (and) neighbourhood watch meetings, we encourage members, adults and young people to make use of the facility which is provided for them by the Government. The response has been good; a lot of people have been utilizing the facility.

Young people love the computers, and we are trying to attract them. We encourage police officers who are computer literate to volunteer their time to teach computer technology to the young people, preferable in their uniform so that there can be a strong positive signal of police/citizens relations,” he adds.

For Custos of Trelawny, Hon. Paul Muschett, the centre will enhance the empowerment of citizens and create another avenue of socialization and learning for those least able to access these facilities elsewhere.

“Through access to the Internet, and all the information available to the individuals, they are able to make better and more informed decisions, and even provide themselves with employment via the Internet,” he notes.

Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Garth Wilkinson, also sees the opening of the centre as a “great moment”, and “a grand idea.”

“I hope more community based organisations can get on board, and make use of this worthwhile opportunity. This is a centre to be proud of; this was built with youth empowerment in mind. It is a well needed computer access centre for the town of Falmouth, and environs, and I hope that the youth of this town will make use of it in a meaningful way. A centre like this, with dedicated staff is a definite start in the right direction,” the Mayor contends.

President of the Falmouth Independent Youth Club, Michael Black, agrees that the centre is having a great impact on boosting not only the social life of young people, helping them educationally.

“It will help those who don’t understand how to use computers; here can be a learning ground for them. In order for us to have continuation, those who use it need to protect it, because it is theirs and if they don’t protect what is theirs they won’t benefit from it,” he says.