Career & Education

USF donates ICT equipment to UNESCO youth committee

Sunday, December 09, 2018

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THE capabilities of the UNESCO Youth Advisory Committee have received a technological boost courtesy of the Universal Service Fund (USF) which on Wednesday presented it with six laptops, six tablets, a printer and projector.

The items are valued at $600,000.

In making the presentation, USF Marketing and Public Relations Manager Deleen Powell said the donation is part of the agency's continued thrust to equip young people with the tools and expertise to enable them to participate in the global digital economy.

“This donation is particularly significant as the beneficiaries are young persons who are committed to shaping the lives of their peers. With these devices we know the Committee will be even better equipped to carry out its mandate of youth empowerment,” she said.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange, who chairs the UNESCO National Commission, and State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, who chairs the UNESCO Youth Advisory Committee were present at the handover.

They thanked the USF for its support, which they said would go a far way in the execution of projects aimed at development through youth engagement.

“The secretariat is moving to implement projects towards empowering youth at risk, including young boys between the ages of five and 18 who struggle academically, and teenage mothers,” Grange said.

She added that the programme will be focused on providing vocational skills, training, entrepreneurship and literacy.

Among the programmes which the youth advisory committee has recently implemented are a speed mentoring session, in August this year, which saw over 70 youth from across Jamaica being mentored by professionals across sectors; a youth forum centred on youth advocacy and participation in solving national issues around education, security, the sciences and culture; and a literacy awareness event in commemoration of International Literacy Day on September 8, 2018.

Charles said the committee intends to build on these projects in coming years.

The Universal Service Fund is an agency of the Ministry of Science and Technology mandated to increase access to and use of Information Communication Technology island-wide. It achieves this through the establishment of community computer labs, public wi-fi hot spots and the financing of ICT-related educational projects.

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