IGT donates computer lab to Spring Village Development Foundation
IGT team member, Rohan Williams, Technology Manager (second right) and Community Relations Officer at the Jamaica Broilers Group, Cyrine Cargill (third right) assist the children in using the computers donated by IGT Jamaica. Looking on is IGT General Manager, Debbie Green (far left).
Hundreds of young people in the Spring Village community of St Catherine are set to benefit from the launch of an IGT After School Advantage Centre (ASA).
IGT Jamaica donated computers and a printer to the Spring Village Development Foundation during a ribbon-cutting ceremony recently.
The Spring Village Development Foundation administers a Community Centre, Youth Club and a HEART Trust/National Training Agency Institute in the rural community near Old Harbour, St. Catherine.
It is a busy learning hub for youth, adolescents and younger students in the area, with over 300 students pursuing courses in skills such as electrical installation, customer service, commercial food preparation and other areas.
Principal of the Foundation Kenroy Waldo pointed out that students from the Spring Village Primary School also visit the Community Centre to work on their homework assignments.
“This donation will help them with their research,” Waldo noted.
Youth club meetings at the centre also help develop life skills as well as recreation for young people in the community of some 10,000 residents.
“Young people from outside the area also regularly join us,” added Waldo.
Randy Finnikin, Executive Director of the Foundation, pointed out that the foundation celebrated its 21st anniversary in November. It was founded by residents in response to the community’s need for empowerment of young people and older community members. In particular, illiteracy was a problem. The residents began without a permanent home for classes until they obtained funding assistance for four shipping containers to house their educational facilities.
Now, the foundation has a 50 person-strong marching band, two soccer teams and a thriving multifaceted training programme, which offers training in early childhood education, practical nursing, construction and hospitality. Volunteerism is a strong part of their activities, and on Legacy Day (November 14), celebrated by the institution, all students were out working on community projects such as landscaping, painting, repairs and construction. “This is not a one-man show,” said Finnikin. “All the students give back.”
The foundation meets on a monthly basis; sustainability is one of its core values.
General Manager of IGT Jamaica Debbie Green expressed her delight at the opening of the 15th ASA Centre in Jamaica.
“This centre underlines our unwavering commitment to empowering students through technology, by providing them with the tools for learning to which they might not normally have access,” she said. “We are especially pleased with this opportunity to support this community-based organization, which has already been doing great work with young people for over ten years.”
Students at several institutions, including children’s homes and training centres across the island, are making great progress in their studies at IGT Jamaica’s ASA Centres.
The goal of the company’s flagship programme is to close the “Digital Divide,” which has a negative impact on children who find it difficult to gain access to computers and to the online world of learning.
Waldo expressed his appreciation for the donation of computers. “This will definitely help us to offer better quality training to our residents. The Spring Village Development Foundation is very appreciative of this assistance.”