THE LIME Foundation has retrofitted and transformed a cargo container into a new cyber centre for residents of Breezy Castle and surrounding areas in downtown Kingston.
Branded as “The Link”, the Internet access facility and resource center is outfitted with 11 new desktop computers, powered by LIME’s broadband service, a printer and an administrative office.
Sited at the Breezy Castle Sports Complex on the Kingston waterfront, the project is valued at more than $3 million and is expected to benefit several individuals, schools and other organisations within the
community and surrounding areas. The centre will be staffed by members of the community and managed by the MultiCare Foundation, with oversight from the LIME Foundation.
According to Errol Miller, chairman of the LIME Foundation, the centre will provide Internet access primarily for student research, homework completion and minor document publishing for other members of the public.
Addressing the handing over ceremony yesterday, Miller said that the new IT centre represented the telecommunication company’s commitment to support the development of education in Jamaica.
“We are keen on supporting the proliferation of affordable Internet access to primary schools and communities in under-served areas. This especially as it relates to the direct and undeniable linkage that access to the worldwide Web has with enabling our youngsters in their educational pursuits” Miller said.
Miller’s position was supported by Garfield Sinclair, CEO of parent company LIME.
“The Internet is an essential tool and access to it these days can almost be considered a right-of-way. LIME is committed to widening the Internet pathway for all the people. When we consider the vast number of formal and informal communities in and around Breezy Castle, populated by people who have no less a desire to succeed than the most fortunate, it makes the opening of this facility even more important to us,” Sinclair told the ceremony.
Ronald Thwaites, the minister of education and Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, where the facility is located, hailed the ongoing partnership between LIME and the MultiCare Foundation which has resulted in making the centre a reality.
“This centre will be a very valuable community resource and certainly there is no other in the area that can serve as many people from this community (Breezy Castle) and other around. I see students needing to do [their] SBA, business persons who need to get on the Internet and of course the general public benefiting from the services offered here,” the minister said in acknowledging the contribution of both foundations.
“I believe that a lot of the violence we see in inner-city communities happens because people are idle. While there are many causes, unemployment comes because of lack of training and lack of training comes from inadequate education,” Thwaites added.
Already some 400 primary schools receive free Internet service from LIME and through a total of 10 cyber centres established across Jamaica by the foundation; thousands more are able to access the Internet free of cost. LIME is one of the three endowing partners of the MultiCare Foundation. The others include the ICD Group and Caribbean Cement Company.