- The recently opened Treadways Internet café is already making a difference in the lives of residents of the rural St. Catherine community who, before now, had to travel outside the area to access the information superhighway.
- Pastor of the Treadways Gospel Assembly, which hosts the café, Elder Courtney Lyn, said the initiative is “a wonderful investment in the community and the church,” which is greatly assisting students and other members of the community.
- He noted that news of the café’s opening is getting around quickly, and demand for its services is increasing.
The recently opened Treadways Internet café is already making a difference in the lives of residents of the rural St. Catherine community who, before now, had to travel outside the area to access the information superhighway.
Speaking with JIS News, Pastor of the Treadways Gospel Assembly, which hosts the café, Elder Courtney Lyn, said the initiative is “a wonderful investment in the community and the church,” which is greatly assisting students and other members of the community.
“It is going really well because even children, who were unable to prepare their SBAs (School Based Assessments) for their exams, and were out of funds, have been using it free of cost. We had to let them use it without taking a little stipend from them. So it has been going really well,” Elder Lyn said.
He noted that news of the café’s opening is getting around quickly, and demand for its services is increasing.
“Recently, I was doing a funeral service and at the cemetery, people approached me about when and how they can use it. So, we are making appointments for those people who are from outside of the community – a couple miles out,” he shared.
The Treadways Internet Café, which officially opened on September 27, is a project of 2013/14 Civil Servant of the Year, Enthrose Campbell, with support from telecommunications company Digicel, the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), and other sponsors.
The project is awaiting review by a team from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM) for consideration for expansion through the Universal Service Fund (USF), in order to facilitate more users. The USF is tasked to ensure that there is Information Communication Technology (ICT) access across Jamaica. Elder Lyn has faith that the expansion will occur.
“I am looking forward to it with great expectation because I know when the assessment is done, it will be plain to see that the area is deserving of all the help it can get to enhance the IT boom that is taking place here right now. People are really excited about it and looking forward to using it much more. So, I’m really looking forward to the first review on it,” he said.
Miss Campbell, for her part, is expressing pleasure at the positive response from the community to the project. She said the feedback from the operators is that the café is “already bursting at the seams”.
“They tell me they don’t have enough space and hours in the day to accommodate the requests. I am eagerly looking forward to the next step, which is the review by the Ministry of Technology and expansion,” she told JIS News.
She noted that the setting up of the café came from a request from Elder Lyn for her to assist young people in the church to write resumes in their quest for jobs.
“So I said, that’s a good idea but I’m going to see if I can empower them even more by giving them the tools to use when I am not there. So I thought of the internet café,” Miss Campbell recalled.
Digicel donated four computers, a printer, along with desks and tables, while information technology businessman Andrew Nooks, provided a printer. Digicel also donated three months of internet access to the café.
The operations of the café are being monitored by a committee and students’ work and research is overseen by a committee member. Users must make an appointment and pay a small fee for printing in order to ensure the café’s sustainability.
Miss Campbell said there was great need for such a facility in the community, as residents had to travel as far as Linstead to use a computer or print a document.
“So, the Treadways community has really welcomed it. It’s a farming community with lots of promising young people,” she noted.
The top Civil Servant is required to undertake a project during the year, which is expected to make an impact in the community in which it is located.
Miss Campbell carried out a total of four projects, which have all been completed and have been well-received. In addition to the establishment of the café, the other undertakings were: Two Spanish teaching programmes – one at her alma mater, St. Andrew Technical, and at the Jamaica Customs Department; an Empowerment Session for Public Sector workers; and features highlighting the work of civil servants.
Miss Campbell, who has worked at the JIS for 19 years, and is currently Director of Production, leveraged her expertise in the field of communication and support from the JIS, to promote the work and achievements of civil servants, through a series of features for TV, radio and print.
“We were just highlighting the good work of civil servants because people need to know that civil servants are hard working people and we are not low producers as they want to call us. They know that we do good work. So this was just further reinforcing it,” she stated.
Miss Campbell said she was happy for the opportunity to serve as Civil Servant of the Year 13/14. “I worked on the steering committee and got to interact with the members. It was really an excellent year. I’m glad I served and was able to make a difference through the four projects. I am happy,” she said.