The Flow Foundation recently partnered with the GraceKennedy Jamaican Birthright Programme to provide an immersive experience for four university students of Jamaican parentage who live overseas. The programme reconnects 2nd and 3rd generation Jamaicans living in the USA, UK and Canada to their proud Jamaican heritage.
It includes a one-month internship within the GraceKennedy Group, based on the student’s field of study, and educational tours of Jamaican heritage sites and attractions.
As the Flow Foundation contributes to national development through digital inclusion, the GraceKennedy Foundation, through the Birthright programme, engages the diaspora to Jamaica’s benefit by increasing the cultural affinity of young Jamaicans living abroad. While the Birthright programme linked the students to their Jamaican heritage, Flow kept them connected with each other and their families back home with smartphones and data plans. The devices were also instrumental in assisting the students with their daily tasks as access to communication technology is pivotal for productivity in today’s world.
Olivia Hylton-Pennant, a graduate of the University of Cambridge in the UK who deferred her internship from 2020, explained that, “The Flow phone and data plan provided an invaluable lifeline during the Birthright programme. Both helped us to remain connected with one another as interns, as well as new people we met while in Jamaica. Through WhatsApp, we exchanged hundreds of messages, so the unlimited social media plan was especially appreciated.”
Debbie Buck, who lives in Canada and is preparing for her final year at the University of Winnipeg, said the phones and plan provided intangible benefits for her, such as peace of mind.
“Just being able to communicate while travelling across the island was a huge help. The phone and service provided by Flow made the work/life experience easier and more convenient. I even felt safer knowing that I had a reliable means of communication while in Jamaica,” said Buck.
The students also enjoyed the benefit of keeping the phones permanently for their future trips to Jamaica.
Flow Vice President and General Manager and Chairman of the Flow Foundation, Stephen Price, pointed out, “This is another great example of the power and influence of the technology and services we offer. We improve lives and create possibilities.”
“For some of the participants in the Birthright programme this was their first personal experience of Jamaica and we’re happy to have provided their communication needs and contributed to a memorable experience,” Price added.
The Flow Foundation has been a long-time partner of the GraceKennedy Foundation and champions personal and national progress through digital transformation.