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St Barbs Community benefits from new computers
“We want to show that good things can and do come out of St Barbs. The response of the youth is exciting and has shown that we are right. The programme is bearing fruit.”
This is the view of Shurland Gavin, president of St Barbs Village Council at the formal launch of the St Barbs Computer Centre at the Red Hill St Barbs Community Centre in Laventille on June 12. The Centre was equipped with computers and office furniture provided by blink-bmobile and software provided by RSC International.
A release from blink-bmobile said Gavin noted that the Computer Centre was established to provide self-development opportunities to the youth of the area by teaching them new skills and attitudes. The Village Council official also thanked blink-bmobile for their invaluable support.
The Computer Centre is a joint effort of St Barbs Village Council, St Barbs Community Action Council, St Barbs Women in Action, the Hearts and Mind Programme of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), the Citizen Security Programme (CSP) of the Ministry of National Security, RSC International and the blink-bmobile Foundation.
The St Barbs Computer Centre is open to all members of the community and currently serves over 60 community members between the ages of 14 and 44.
Computer literacy, Mathematics and English classes are offered on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings and Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Alpha, a ten-week mentorship programme is run on Sundays. Future classes will include the National Training Agency Life Skills programme, a grow box agriculture project, animation and computer repairs.
Anjanie Ramesar-Soom, manager Corporate and Community Affairs at blink-bmobile urged the community to make full use of the computer facilities set up for their benefit.
“This initiative underscores the guiding principle of the blink-bmobile Foundation that is, Shaping the future together. This project involves many stakeholders working together in an effort to open the doors to a successful future for these young people. We are proud to be a partner in this important community initiative,” Ramesar-Soom said.
Gregory Sloane-Seale, CSP programme coordinator attended the launch and reminded the attendees of a meeting a couple months ago with the acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams and other senior officers who listened to the young people of St Barbs who had a vision of what they wanted for their personal and professional development. Sloane-Seale said, “When positive things happen, people want to keep it going forward. This has truly been an example of how a partnership works and a step in the right direction.”
Inspector Elvin Reid of the IATF Hearts and Mind Programme spoke on behalf of the Police Commissioner. He noted that the Hearts and Mind Programme was started in 2003 to bring the police and the Laventille community closer via community outreach initiatives. He commended all for their sterling efforts and shared, “The Commissioner and the IATF are quite pleased to see the fruition of the Computer Centre today and give our commitment to continue to work with the St Barbs Community to support them in their development efforts.”
Junion National Security minister Embau Moheni delivered the feature address and assured the St Barbs Community that they have the Ministry’s full support. He said, “What we see here today is that various individuals and organisations have come forward to create a sustaining model that we will be replicated in other communities. Crime prevention is everyone’s business.”
The launch was well attended by many of the youth and members of the St Barbs Community who eagerly tried out the PCs donated by the blink-bmobile Foundation. Also present were Superintendent Wayne Boyd, Inter-Agency Task Force and Raj Ramdass, managing director of RSC International which donated the educational software to the Computer Centre and organised the classes which are taught by certified and trained teachers.