Literacy Ja starts virtual classes for non-readers

May 26, 2017
Residents of the Grants Pen community, HEART students from Stella Marris Foundation, and Dream Jamaica volunteers refurbishing the Community Home Work Centre so students may get a chance to enjoy doing their home work and assignments.

Bemoaning the high levels of illiteracy in Jamaica, Latoya Wakefield established the Literacy Ja initiative. Literacy Ja is a branch of a non-profit organisation, Dream Jamaica, which is based in Jamaica and Seattle.

Literacy Ja seeks to help Jamaicans to become better writers and readers.

Wakefield, who is a freelance writer and author of Irie the Caterpillar & Xaymaca: A Dream is Born, says the Literacy Ja targets persons as young as primary school children.

"So if you are not able to write or read, we have a WhatsApp group that have lessons every day; it is basically English assistance so that persons can become literate," Wakefield said.

Being an author, Wakefield says Jamaica has a literacy issue which she witnesses first-hand and doesn't believe it is being addressed.

To help combat the problem, Literacy Ja is starting virtual classes for free. She believes that other organisations should do the same because not many persons can afford to educate themselves.

"I think if we can offer extra help for free that can help, because a lot of persons cannot afford classes. If we could have these, that could be a great starting point," she said.

Wakefield, along with Tafar-I Williams, Stacy Henderson, Kenniece Davis and Shev Laylor launched the 'Mus' Get Di Wuk' campaign, which is aimed at arming individuals with the tools needed to get a job.

"I normally peruse I Need A Job Jamaica page on Facebook and I saw the issues there, as well as I get employees for a friend and I realised that the rÈsumÈs and application letters are not up to par, so I thought of a solution. Why not do a workshop for free so that people can have that knowledge?" she said.

A series of workshops will be held at the Grant's Pen conference centre under the Mus' Get Di Wuk campaign every Saturday from May 27 to June 17.

Wakefield said the aim of this campaign is to get more Jamaicans employed.

"We know that the job market is saturated, but there are jobs out there. Anyone who needs the assistance, we want them to be better after this," she said.

Participants will learn how to write or improve their rÈsumÈs, learn interview tips and get suggestions on professional attire.

There are plans to issue each participant with a suit that can be worn to an interview.

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