Fi Wi Jamaica: partnering for youth empowerment
FI WI Jamaica, a USAIDfunded project of the University of Technology, Jamaica, in partnership with the Avasant Foundation, is proud of the successful execution and completion of a programme geared towards youth training and employment. At the end of a fourmonth programme, those enrolled received training in customer service, communications, workplace professionalism and basic technology. They not only gained tangible skills but also improved their self-confidence and an understanding of how the contact centre industry works and the process of applying for jobs. After passing the programme’s tests and graduating, the Avasant Foundation arranged for them to interview at local ICT/BPO companies.
For all the training provided throughout the collaborative programme, industry expert trainers were brought in from partner employers. The cohorts were trained by an average of six trainers from Xerox for all four weeks. The students also did site visits to iTel BPO and HGS, which added to their learning, to experience the workings of a contact centre.
Project Director Professor Rosalea Hamilton is of the view that the intervention has been transformative. She noted, “In the evaluation of the programme, students have indicated that the programme has built their selfconfidence, taught them time management, teamwork and civic responsibility, and empowered them to be better persons.”
On Saturday, September 3, the partners proudly celebrated the fourth and final graduation related to the Digital Youth Employment Initiative, which has trained a total of 123 youth in Kingston and Montego Bay. The keynote speaker, Minister of Education Ruel Reid, lauded the initiative and encouraged the graduates to capitalise on the opportunities and possibilities to which they now have access. The graduates received formal certificates and three standout students were nominated by their peers to receive special awards (Top Performer, Most Improved and Best Team Player).
More than half of the graduates are already employed among industry partners, including iTELBPO Solutions, HGS, XEROX, Scotiabank, Tritel, IBEX, 24-7 In Touch, and BPIAJ. The rest are in the interviewing and onboarding process.
Fi Wi Jamaica is a national socialintervention group seeking to expand a window of opportunity for the protection and promotion of human rights of targeted, socially excluded and vulnerable members of the Jamaican population. It has the overarching goal of empowering members of socially excluded and vulnerable groups through social, cultural and economic interventions that strengthen public demand and advocacy for their respect, dignity, and freedom from discrimination and violence. The project also has a mandate to create a publiceducation campaign. Through workshops, a component of this campaign will focus on tolerance, democracy, civic responsibility, participatory governance and advocacy.
One of Fi Wi Jamaica’s upcoming activities is #BIGUPJAMAICA Day. The project is encouraging Jamaicans at home and abroad to tweet positively about Jamaica and Jamaicans on October 17, using the hashtag #BIGUPJAMAICA.