RESIDENTS WELCOME INTERNET CAFÉ IN TREADWAYS, ST. CATHERINE
KINGSTON, Oct. 12 (JIS) BY: CHRIS PATTERSON – Joyous shouts and cheers filled the atmosphere in Treadways, recently as residents of the St. Catherine-based community showed their appreciation for the opening of an internet café.
Not even the onset of afternoon showers, could put a damper on the celebratory mood of the residents, scores of whom turned out to witness the official opening of the approximately $300,000 facility.
The café, which is intended to benefit residents of Treadways and neighbouring communities, is located on the grounds of the Treadways Gospel Assembly.
The initiative is one of the four projects undertaken by Civil Servant of the Year 2013-14 and Director of Productions at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Enthrose Campbell, under the theme ‘Transformation and Renewal for a Better Tomorrow’.
The Treadways internet café project is supported by Digicel, which donated computers, desks, and chairs. The facility is equipped with two desktop computers, two laptop computers, a multipurpose printer, and wall posters, and will also serve as a homework centre.
In expressing gratitude for the gift, church member, Stephaney Rankine, vowed to take care of the facility.
Ms. Rankine, who is also a teacher at the Ewarton Primary School in St. Catherine, urged the community members to use the facility to empower themselves.
Community member, Judith Higgins, said the facility’s establishment will not only encourage more young people to attend church, but will also allow them to conduct research.
Another community member, Isorene Morrison, said the café will be used by her grandchildren, pointing out that the initiative is a “wonderful thing”.
In his remarks, Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, who was guest speaker at the function, said the initiative supports the Government’s thrust to increase access to broadband services.
He said the establishment of internet cafés, supported by citizens and members of the private sector, along with the Community Access Points (CAPs) that the Government is putting place, will further advance this mission.
“What we want to see is what Enthrose is doing here today. How we are going to get our people to have access to the technology that will enable us to develop ourselves, that will enable us to be a part of this global village, that sees information (not only) as a valuable tool for learning but also as a tool for earning,” he said, adding that the facility’s location will bring people, especially youngsters, closer to the church and to God.
CAPs enable community members to use the internet at minimal or no cost for research, bill payments, education, communication, business, marketing, and social networking.
In the meantime, the Minister committed to “match what Digicel has done”, as well as provide Internet and WiFi services for two years, free of charge.
He said that this, however, hinges on how well the facility is maintained, pointing out that a site visit will be conducted in two months to ensure that the standards up to par.
Providing an overview on the project, Ms. Campbell informed that having selected four projects to undertake during her tenure, she was adamant, despite the challenges faced, that they would be completed.
“People were saying ‘Enthrose, you really should just take one project and focus on it because you are going to stretch yourself too much’. But I said to myself, that that would be a dilemma for me to select one of my four projects, because which one would I give up?” she said.
The projects included: a public sector empowerment programme; teaching CXC Spanish classes to St. Andrew Technical High School students, as well as teaching Spanish classes to Customs Officers; a series of features on excellent civil servants; as well the internet café at Treadways.
“I thought that these projects were planted in my heart and each of them was conceived with love and in addition they were planted by the Father,” she said, adding that the decision was made to pursue them all.
Ms. Campbell said the café location was identified following discussions with her neighbour, friend, and pastor of the Treadways Gospel Assembly, Elder Courtney Lyn.
“This internet café was born out of a desire to give back something to the community. I don’t live in Treadways, I don’t work in Treadways, but Treadways is my community. It is your community, Treadways is our community,” she said.
Ms. Campbell commended Digicel and the JIS for the work they have done to ensure the project’s fruition.
She noted that even though the project may be small, “it is a start” for greater things, and used the opportunity to encourage others to support the initiative.
In his remarks, Elder Lyn said the initiative is timely and will assist the students and community members in conducting research, among other things.
For her part, Senior Corporate Relations Manager at Digicel, Tricia Williams-Singh, said her company will continue to support extraordinary relationships especially those that seek to provide internet facilities across the length and breadth of the island.
Lauding the initiative, Director, Employee Relations and Benefits, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Erica Barnes, said it is one of the best projects undertaken by any person who has copped the Civil Servant of the Year award.
The multipurpose printer in the computer room was donated by Director, Open Wave Information Security, Andrew Nooks, while the posters were donated by the Jamaica Information Service.
Millions to come from FSC
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Revenue from the Turks and Caicos’ Financial Services Sector will more than double in the next few years, if E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister gets his way. It ‘s one of the reasons the country is investing so much capital into getting off of the EU blacklist and becoming a secure trustworthy financial destination.
“The FSC’s revenues for 2020/21 was $10.5M— the figures for 2021/22, would be about similar,” he said. He further explained that $10.5 million from the FSC represented about 2.6 percent of the country’s 408.5-million-dollar revenue. Though it increased to $14 million in the 2021/22 financial year, finance is still a small fry compared to tourism or even stamp duties but that will change, says Saunders.
“My revenue goal for the Government by the year 2029 [or] the election after the next election – is $500M. By that time, I want the financial sector (FSC) revenues to represent at least 5% ($25M). So that’s my goal for the financial sector by 2029.”
This goal, should it be met, would increase the Government’s revenue by 100 million dollars, a significant increase in spending power for local upgrades and improvements for Turks and Caicos residents and visitors.
Saunders says it’s time for the TCI to diversify its sources of revenue to make sure that what happened in the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw residents out of a job for months, will not happen again. Tourism now makes up around 80 percent of the country’s GDP. The Minister of Finance wants to push that down to 60 or even 50 percent.
Debrief on Haiti Caribbean heads visit
#Haiti, March 17, 2023 – When a CARICOM delegation visited Haiti earlier this month, conspicuously absent was the Turks and Caicos Islands despite being one of the nations most directly affected by the multi-dimensional crisis there. There is no comment, as yet from the Premier, to say why this was the case.
Still, from the expedition, CARICOM heads of Government have informed that there will be lobbying in Africa for assistance in Haiti. They say they have decided that the best course of action for the Caribbean country is to bolster the Haitian National Police and act as intermediaries with Africa and the world. The decision follows a one day visit on February 27th, and a March 5th meeting chaired by the Bahamas.
CARICOM says during the trip delegates ‘met with a broad range of Haitian stakeholders to hear their views on the way forward to a Haitian-led solution’. With that in mind it has made a decision on how to proceed.
“The Heads of Government agreed to support the Haitian National Police in their efforts to address the security situation. The focus of the Community will be the provision of training for the HNP and the provision of humanitarian assistance to HNP and the wider Haitian society, taking into account the challenging humanitarian and security situation”
It’s not clear yet where and how this training will take place. Also distinctly absent from the report, no more mention of boots on the ground from other countries despite CARICOM Member States indicating they were ready and willing should it come to that.
In addition, recognizing ‘the common historical experiences and the strong African-Caribbean relationship’ CARICOM says,
“Heads of Government also agreed to seek support from African countries for Haiti. They also agreed to work with the Governments of Canada and the United States as well as the UNDP”
Magnetic Media has reached out to the Premier’s Office to get a full debrief of the February 27th visit (led by Jamaica; including The Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago) to learn of Turks and Caicos’ posture following the critical sessions.
New ASHLEY’S LEARNING CENTRE CONCERT
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Musicians from the New World Symphony will be in the Turks and Caicos in concert next month and residents are invited to attend in support of the future of Ashley’s Learning Center.
A fairly young orchestral academy based in Miami, the New World Symphony was launched in the 1980s by 1987, Michael Tilson Thomas and Ted Arison,Carnival Cruises founder. From the 1500 applicants who vie for a spot each year, the symphony accepts around 35 music graduates annually for training fellowships.
A select few of those graduates will be in country on April 8th headlining at the Ashley’s Learning Center concert ‘We’re all in this together’. The concert which also feature local artistes will be held at Brayton Hall on Venetian Road from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Tickets are available ON ISLEHELP $75 PER GENERAL SEAT $125 PER PREMIUM SEAT $195 PER GALLERY SEAT – with /FREFRESHMENTS.
For TICKET RESERVATIONs you can call: 649-341-2304 or email EVENTS@ASHLEYSLEARNINGCENTER.ORG
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