The collaborative efforts of Western Union and the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston have resulted in a new, fully stocked computer lab for the more than 500 students of Holy Rosary Primary School.
With early-childhood education being the first priority for the Ministry of Education, public and private partnerships are necessary to provide subvention and bring about meaningful change and funding to projects.
The refurbishing exercise was the venture selected by the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston for its 2011-2012 major project. The activity involved transforming the existing computer room into a modern learning and development centre. Immediate past president of the club Sharon Williams explained: "Having heard about the needs of the school, we decided to launch our Bringing Up Grades (BUGS) programme, which is one of Kiwanis International's initiatives to encourage children at the primary-school level to improve their grades."
She noted that, being pleased with the improvements seen and the dedication of the teaching faculty, they were moved to further assist the school in developing the learning skills of the students and the project was a natural fit.
With an already stretched Ministry of Education purse, partnerships are an effective method of bridging the financial gap. "The power of partnerships cannot be denied," said Joan-Marie Powell, managing director of Grace Kennedy Money Services, operators of Western Union in Jamaica.
"The education of our children deserves unselfish and collective effort by all of Jamaica in a position to make a difference. We encourage other corporate entities and foundations and service clubs to forge partnerships like this," Powell said.
The project included: tiling and painting the room, installing computer workstations and cupboards, an air conditioning unit, 13 computers, and one server donated by Western Union.
Holy Rosary is one of 13 schools to be outfitted with computers this year, courtesy of the remittance giant Western Union.
Some $9 million worth of computers will be distributed to schools islandwide to culminate Western Union's 2012 I-PLEDGE (I Promise to Lend Encouragement to Develop Growth in Education') I-PLEDGE programme.