New ICT hub commissioned in Free and Easy community
After a long wait, residents of the agricultural West Bank Demerara village called Free-and-Easy commissioned their new Community ICT Hub on Wednesday, August 29.
According to a release from the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, villagers gathered at the building that will become their community center to participate in the simple ceremony that culminated with the symbolic cutting of the ribbon to open the Hub.
The release further noted that every officer in the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), who played a role in the creation of the ICT hub in this remote community was present along with NDMA Chairman, Floyd Levi. He congratulated the residents for working together to raise funds for the electrical wiring and security of the building, and construction of benches and cubicles for the laptop computers which were donated by the Government.
According to the release, a young student of the University of Guyana (UG), Alex Nurse, talked about the fund raising ‘Bring–and-Buy’ sales and the concerts hosted by the villagers. He said that with their own hub, their students and small business owners will no longer have to travel the five miles on a loam road to Patentia to research and complete assignments, and to source equipment for their farms and food processing businesses. One extended family already owns a corn mill.
Another young resident, Ryan Charles, highlighted the opportunities that are now open and available to him and other villagers such as the facilities to train even the older folks to use the computers and internet, to find vacancy announcements, and to entertain their children.
In fact, as soon as the ceremony was over, the youngsters rushed to the new laptops to continue what they had started on their own tablets and cellphones since the Wifi connection was installed at the beginning of August.
Mr. Levi pointed out that the Free-and-Easy Hub was one of many that NDMA has already commissioned or is leading towards commissioning at West Demerara, mentioning Stanleytown, Stewartville and Phoenix Park.
He told the residents about available online government services including passport application forms, and encouraged them to live-stream their community events. He stressed that the ICT hub should always be available to every resident, and thanked the community management committee who will oversee training and knowledge-sharing activities.