Mustard Seed Communities gets fifth computer centre

Thursday, November 22, 2018

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IGT Jamaica opened its fifth IGT After School Advantage (ASA) Centre for Mustard Seed Communities in celebration of the 40th anniversary of an organisation that serves more than 500 individuals living with special needs and children living with HIV/AIDS.

The centre, consisting of six computers, pre-loaded with learning software and a printer, was opened on November 14 at the Mustard Seed Communities' Matthew 25:40 home for boys living with HIV/AIDS, a recent release said.

“This will be very helpful for our boys,” said Donna Reynolds, operations manager at Mustard Seed Communities, who noted that Matthew 25:40 currently accommodates 21 boys of high school age.

“The home is located in the inner city, where access to technology is not always easy. It will also benefit some of the boys from surrounding communities who will be able to use it alongside our own students,” she added. “We are very grateful to IGT for the assistance they have provided to several Mustard Seed Communities homes.”

The partnership between IGT Jamaica and the Mustard Seed Communities began in September 2015, the release said, when IGT Jamaica donated to the Jerusalem home in Spanish Town.

The Mary's Child and St Anthony's Homes, as well as the Gift of Hope Children's Home in Mandeville and Sophie's Place in Gordon Town, have already benefited from IGT's educational support through the ASA Centres. Most recently, The Little Angels Learning Centre benefited from a redesigned computer lab at Sophie's Place with five additional computers and furniture, handed over on September 18, the release said.

“This is our fourteenth After School Advantage Centre in Jamaica. The donation underlines our continued commitment to providing digital resources for Jamaica's most vulnerable children,” said IGT Jamaica, General Manager Debbie Green. “Mustard Seed Communities is a remarkable organisation and we wish to congratulate them on their fortieth anniversary. The children they serve will benefit from access to the latest technology, affording them the opportunity to expand their educational horizons. We are proud to continue our partnership with Mustard Seed, to the benefit of its wonderful children.”

IGT Regional Director Brendan Hames reiterated the company's delight in partnering with Mustard Seed.

“This outstanding organisation has risen to the challenge of serving some of the most vulnerable in the society, and it is our distinct honour to support them in providing a higher standard of educational delivery through technology.”

The release said the After School Advantage Programme seeks to bridge the “Digital Divide” for children (aged five to 18 years) who are normally unable to access computers in their daily lives. The ASA Programme provides non-profit organisations with digital resource centres, each specially designed to fit the recipient's needs.

Matthew 25:40, established in 2002, is one of three homes in Kingston serving abandoned and orphaned children living with HIV/AIDS under the umbrella of its Dare to Care programme. The homes provide shelter and support for approximately 80 children. Dare to Care's unique programme ensures that the children live their best possible lives, encompassing medical care, education, and emotional and spiritual support.

The After School Advantage Programme is the major philanthropic initiative for IGT, formerly GTECH, which has been the online lottery technology provider to Supreme Ventures Limited since it began selling online draw games in 2001.

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