In an effort to improve computer literacy, and empower young people in the Tavern community, the reigning festival queen (2011), Krystle Daley, has implemented a computer project at the community centre, Gordon Town Road, in Kingston.
The project was launched recently, at the Christian Life Fellowship Church, Gordon Town Road.
Cultural Organiser at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Nahemia Lusan, told JIS News that the idea to implement the project came from the festival queen, whose desire was to uplift young people in her community. She said the project will also complement an ongoing job-bank project at the centre, which was implemented by the Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton.
"Minister Hylton also started a job-bank project, which ties in perfectly with the computer project, to facilitate the young people doing their resumes, and seeking job opportunities, while students can be accommodated to do their research. These are just some of the ways in which opportunities are provided to get them involved in productive activities,” Ms. Lusan said.
She added that the programme seeks to facilitate mainly young people, ranging from age 13 to 25 years.
Ms. Lusan said that additional benefits will be provided by this project, with the combination of the Youth United for Purpose (YUP) programme, involving computer training and mentorship.
“The Resource Centre is one aspect of the programme, and young people in the Tavern community will receive mentorship through the efforts of the Festival Queen,” she pointed out.
Ms. Lusan added that through the YUP programme, the Festival Queen will also assist young persons to participate in the computer programme.
The mentorship programme will be facilitated by members of the Christian Life Fellowship Church. An information technology (IT) specialist and a few students at the University of Technology (UTech), will teach the students how to use the computers, including writing resumes and conducting research. She also noted that a Math programme is scheduled to begin in September 2012.
"Krystle has a central place in the YUP project to mentor and to assist the young women and men in the community. She also desires to start Etiquette sessions with the young ladies within the community,” Ms. Lusan explained.
She said it is hoped that more sponsors would come on board, as currently only two are assisting – host sponsor, Christian Life Fellowship Church and Lasco Jamaica Limited, which has donated two computers.
In an interview with JIS News, the Festival Queen said that the computer project is a component of her existing mentorship programme YUP, which she started over a year ago for students aged 15 to 20 years.
"We want it to be more than just a computer centre. Over a period of time, it should be somewhat like a library for the students and for the people in Tavern,” Ms. Daley said.
The reigning queen said that in order to facilitate every member of the Tavern community, the centre will operate three days of the week, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and will be able to accommodate up to 20 persons per week.
By Jodiann Reid & Elaine Hartman Reckord