Mustard Seed Community online learning powered by Flow FoundationTuesday, August 03, 2021
Students in the Mustard Seed Communities' Dare to Care Programme are now enjoying internet speeds up to 100 Mbs courtesy of the Flow Foundation which recently installed services at Matthew 25:40 and Martha's Place as well as upgraded the internet speeds at Dare to Care and Jerusalem.
In commenting on the support from the Flow Foundation, Darcy Tulloch-Williams - Executive Director, Mustard Seed Communities - Jamaica said, “The Flow Foundation has always been extremely generous with supporting our programmes, particularly through the provision of internet services over the past 15 years. This recent donation will be a big help for the young ones who have had to transition to online learning since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It means that they will be able to attend school uninterrupted and be fully engaged because of the upgraded speeds.”
Williams continued, “What a lot of persons may not know is that we have several physically challenged persons and as such, the internet is vital for creating interactive activities and exposing them to educational programmes. We are extremely grateful to the Foundation for extending this support to us.”
Natasha Gabbidon Malcolm, Administrator, was also appreciative of the upgraded internet speeds. She shared that, given the comorbidities of the group, the need for online learning is extremely important which led to the subsequent demand for high-speed access at all locations.
Gabbidon Malcolm said, “I am elated at the upgraded speeds that we have received from the Flow Foundation. The impact on our children being able to participate in online schooling as well as being able to stay on property is invaluable. I am particularly pleased about Matthew 25:40 and Martha's Place – both for the increased speed and unlimited access. I wish you could have seen the excitement in the young men when the service was installed. Of course, the young ones at Martha's Place can hardly wait for the installation to be completed.” She continued, “I am really happy because we have already seen a marked improvement in their academic performance since we got the internet service.”
Althea*, a 17-year-old Psychology student, resides at Dare to Care. “I was extremely relieved when our internet service speed was upgraded. Since then, I am doing so much better with my course work and I am very happy and grateful for the service,” she shared.
Similar sentiments of relief and joy were echoed by 10-year-old Tanya* at Martha's House. “I am really glad that we are getting Internet here. It will be a big help when I have to do my school work especially next year when I go into grade 6 and have to do PEP,” she stated.
Matthew 25:40 is a haven for 25-year-old Christopher* who is severely physically challenged and uses a wheelchair for mobility. This has not prevented him from striving to fulfill his dreams. A motivational speaker and active YouTube blogger, he relies heavily on the internet for his career. He said, “Having internet access is a blessing. It will make a difference to everything. There are not enough words to tell how this has made me feel.”
He continued, “Not only will I have easy access to the internet, I will also have the opportunity to get trained in any subject I choose. I can sit right here, get certified and increase my job opportunities. I am truly grateful.”
Christopher* has registered in the Foundation's Training for Professionals Programme where he will have the opportunity to upskill himself and be certified.
Speaking on the Foundation's support of the Dare to Care Programme, Kayon Mitchell, Executive Director said, “We are committed to using our products and services to drive digital inclusion and ensure a better online learning experience for our students.” She continued, “The speed upgrade at the Dare to Care facilities is significant and timely as students island-wide continue to grapple with learning loss. We are happy to provide this much-needed support to their online learning activities.”
Mitchell also expressed her delight with the inclusion of a member of the group in the Foundation's Training for Professionals Programme stating, “We are excited to provide access to certified training for Christopher*. He has already shown so much potential and we know that he will do well.”
The Flow Foundation will continue to drive digital inclusion across Jamaica. The upgraded services to the Mustard Seed Communities' Dare to Care facilities is another element in the Foundation's significant support of the education sector which also includes the provision of free high-speed internet service to over 250 schools.
*Names changed to protect identities.
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