News

blink | bmobile Foundation helps Gonzales set up computer lab for the community

Keith Renaud, Director of the Office of Law Enforcement Policy share some tips with young Antonia and Khadija while Kyielle show off her computer skills to her friend Shamiha and impresses Graeme Suite, Ag.Head Public Relations and External Affairs - blink | bmobile and Acting Superintendent Edwards, Port of Spain Division

“I am a proud product of Laventille and Belmont. I could not stand here confidently telling you this, if it were not for the sustaining grace of our Lord, the support of my mother and programmes such as this.” These were the words of Shelly Benn, a Belmont resident and Gonzales Community Action Council member. Benn was speaking at the opening of the Gonzales Computer Centre at the Gonzales Joint Community Services Centre, Laventille on July 2nd 2014. Thanking the blink | bmobile Foundation for the donation of PC’s and office furniture, Benn continued, “As a young teen, my mother insisted I keep busy and enrolled me in a similar programme. This changed me by introducing new skills, new ideas and the knowledge that with hard work and determination, I can pursue my dreams and explore my full potential. This computer centre can only bring similar rewards if our community takes full advantage of it.”

The Gonzales Computer Centre is a joint effort of the Gonzales Community Action Council, the Hearts and Mind Programme of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), the Citizen Security Programme (CSP) of the Ministry of National Security, RSC International, First Citizens and the blink | bmobile Foundation.

A computer vacation camp starting on July 7th will kick off the activities at the centre. The Gonzales Computer Centre is open to all members of the community and will offer Computer Literacy, Mathematics, English classes, O Level Exam practice tests, as well as a 10-week mentorship programme, ALPHA. Future classes will include the National Training Agency Life Skills Programme, and Computer Repairs. Raj Ramdass is the CEO of RSC International which will be coordinating the classes at the computer centre. He noted, “The Computer Centre will cater for all levels, from entry-level computer literacy to CISCO, A+ and other computer technician programmes which will provide the training required to become certified.”

Graeme Suite, Acting Head Public Relations and External Affairs at blink | bmobile officially handed over the computers and furniture to the Centre and shared that the blink | bmobile Foundation was privileged to support the efforts of the community through the provision of the items. Suite then told the audience “Our contribution to this computer centre is about providing young people with opportunities. Young people need an environment where they can test their skills, explore their options and find their true calling. This centre will help the Gonzales youth find what they are interested in and what they are good at.” Speaking directly to the young community members present, Suite added, “Exposure to Information and Computer Technology (ICT) levels the playing field. It won’t matter where you are from. You will now have access to the world. You will have the ability to explore the world of ICT. Thank you for allowing the blink | bmobile Foundation to be a part of your journey.”

Inspector Elvin Reid of the IATF Hearts and Mind Programme spoke briefly about community policing and how important it was in the fight against delinquency and crime. He noted the Hearts and Mind Programme was started in 2003 to bring the police and the Laventille community closer and the Computer Centre was another community outreach initiative of the programme. He thanked all the stakeholders for their contributions and urged the community to take full advantage of the computer centre.

The Honourable Embau Moheni, Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security delivered the feature address and shared the same sentiment as Suite. He said “We adults have the responsibility to channel the energy and exploration of our youth in the correct direction. This is what this computer centre will do. I am enthused to see the number of institutions and individuals that came together today to provide this uplifting opportunity to the Gonzales community.”

The launch was well attended by many from the Gonzales community who eagerly tried out the PC’s and furniture donated by the blink | bmobile Foundation. Also present were Acting Superintendent Edwards of the Port of Spain Division, Gregory Sloane-Seale, Programme Coordinator of the Ministry of National Security’s Citizen Security Programme, Keith Renaud, Director of the Office of Law Enforcement Policy, Evelena Bruce of First Citizens and several Inter-Agency Task Force representatives.


Congratulating each other on a good team effort for the new Gonzales Computer Centre. L - R: Acting Superintendent Edwards, Port of Spain Division, Raj Ramdass, CEO - RSC International, Graeme Suite, Ag.Head Public Relations and External Affairs, -blink | bmobile, Embau Moheni, Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Keith Renaud, Director of the Office of Law Enforcement Policy and Gregory Sloane-Seale, Programme Coordinator of the Ministry of National Security’s Citizen Security Programme


Trying out the new software. Raj Ramdass CEO of RSC International (far right) gives a tutorial of the new software to young Michael and Kaylan with a little help Anjanie Ramesar-Soom, Manager Corporate and Community Affairs, blink | bmobile, Acting Superintendent Edwards of the Port of Spain Division, and Gregory Sloane-Seale, Programme Coordinator of the Ministry of National Security’s Citizen Security Programme