THE St Andrew youth centre operated by charity organisation Children First, which was recently the scene of a brazen daylight robbery by armed men, was on Thursday outfitted with three brand new laptop computers, thanks to the generosity of the LIME Foundation, California-based Dilieu Technology, and the Mosaic Group.
The machines were handed over at a ceremony at the youth centre on Molynes Road in St Andrew.
Police said thieves on the afternoon of July 3 held up staff at the office at gunpoint, before making off with two laptop computers, five cellular phones and other valuables. One staff member was assaulted in the incident, which was said to happen in full view of a group of students in a classroom. The thieves escaped in a waiting motor car.
"When Children's First reached out to us and told us what had happened in terms of the place being robbed and what they had lost, it was a no-brainier to say we really would be happy to help," said Errol Miller, chairman of LIME Foundation.
Miller also announced that LIME would provide free Internet service to all centres operated by Children's First, while looking at other ways to partner with the charity group in the future.
Meanwhile, Gareth Spencer of DILIEU Technology said his organisation was also moved by the report of the horrible incident, which was published in the Jamaica Observer on July 4. Apart from donating the laptop, he said his company will assist Children's first in making it's building more secure.
Claudette Richardson-Pious, who founded Children's First, said the incident has left staff members demotivated and angry.
"How can someone prey on a programme that seeks to help children?" she questioned, disclosing that the institution has been struggling to keep its doors open.
Children First provides assistance for more than 4,000 at-risk children.