It started with one Mac computer acquired by the May Pen Y’s Men Service Club nearly a year ago courtesy of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Foundation.
And, last week, the organisation opened a fully furnished computer lab, with 14 computers, a most welcome addition to Montclair, Clarendon.
In total appreciation of the Jamaican saying ‘one one cocoa full basket,’ the lab was officially opened at the Astel Parkinson Community Centre, with the prime objective to train young people in that community to become self-sufficient in information communication technology (ICT).
“We wanted more young people to be aware of the Y Service Club. we also wanted to train them in areas they were interested in and most wanted to learn computer graphic design,” said Claris McDonald, project officer, May Pen Y Service Club. “We, therefore, reached out to the JNBS Foundation, which assisted us with acquiring our first computer to get started, and, later, the Universal Service Fund (USF) came to our assistance.”
With a graphic design class up and running, more than 20 students participated in the programme and have demonstrated their new skills on assignments, with the most recent being the designing and printing of programmes for the opening of the lab.
One of the beneficiaries, Shanice Smith, a grade 11 student at the Garvey Maceo High School, said her ability to use her creative skills as a means to secure part-time employment is quite exciting.
“I used to see posters mounted around town, and I always want to learn how to design them, therefore, I was excited to participate in the graphic design course. I have learned so much, and now I am making posters, business cards, logos, and invitations. I am also very happy that my instructor helps us as students to secure clients and to earn,” said Smith.
Addressing the lab-opening ceremony, Rose Miller, grants manager at the JNBS Foundation, highlighted that the foundation continued to believe in the power of technology and demonstrated this by supporting initiatives that promote increased access to ICT.
“Our foundation was instrumental in providing your service club with a computer to establish a course in computer graphic design, and it’s heartening to see the bar being raised for the opening of a computer lab, with the assistance of the Universal Service Fund, which provided additional equipment,” she said.