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February 6, 2013
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SOS Children's Village receive computers from GTECH

Debbie Green, deputy general manager for GTECH Jamaica, guides these boys as they try out the new computers. - Contributed

"This computer lab may not seem like a lot to you, but this means the world to SOS Children's Village," noted Paul Osbourne, programme director at the 'village' at the opening of the GTECH After School Advantage Programme. "This was just a nice resource room void of computers, this is the culmination of a dream we have had."

With its commitment to ensuring that children have an organised, computer-based environment in which computer skills can be learnt, the GTECH Programme has opened a fourth computer lab at the children's home in Stony Hill, St Andrew. The handover ceremony took place recently, and more than 120 children will benefit from this facility.

enhancing school facilities

"At GTECH, our business is to provide the most efficient IT solutions for various organisations worldwide, and in the various territories that we serve. We saw the great need to enhance after-school facilities for children - hence the establishment of the GTECH After School Advantage Programme," Michael Mello, vice-president of government relations at GTECH Corporation said at the opening.

The GTECH After School Advantage Programme provides non-profit agencies and schools with computer services. The programme operates with the goal of bridging the digital divide that continues to affect the country's youth. It also strives to provide both a fun and meaningful learning experience for children and young people. On average, the GTECH-funded programme invests US$15,000 (J$1.35 million) to open and maintain each centre. Once the computer lab is opened, the company continues to make regular site visits to upgrade the software.

"What is important in today's society is no longer the brawn but the brain, and I want to thank GTECH on behalf of all the other schools and homes where the After School Advantage Programme has been established. These are the children that need the opportunity the most," remarked Marjory Kennedy, chair of SOS Children's Village.

"One of our primary objectives is to enable computer access, especially to those who do not have personal computers," noted Ann-Dawn Young Sang, GTECH Corporation's regional general manager for the Caribbean. "We live in a world where computer skills are an absolute necessity, we hope that this exposure will increase the interest of our young in technology and other related disciplines."

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