Expanding its efforts to educate, enable and enhance the online capabilities of Jamaica’s senior citizens, the Flow Foundation has injected new life in the National Council for Senior Citizens’ (NCSC) activity centre with free high-speed Internet.
The facility had been dormant, and as part of its activities for Senior Citizens’ Month, which is being observed in September, it was recently reopened by the NCSC, paving the way for collaboration with the Flow Foundation.
The activity centre will benefit from 100mbps of high-speed internet via Flow’s fibre fast network.
Kayon Mitchell, foundation executive director, spoke to the organisation’s drive to ensure that no one is left behind in the digital economy.
“Our vision is to have every Jamaican being digitally literate and we consider our senior citizens to be a very important stakeholder as we advance our mission of digital inclusion,” said Mitchell, who also serves as director of communication at Flow Jamaica. “The National Council for Senior Citizens is a long-standing partner and we saw this as a great way to demonstrate our continuous support, particularly as we observe Senior Citizens’ Month.”
The activity centre is a resource hub where seniors participate in workshops, social engagement and recreational activities such as art and craft, gardening, board games and peer-to-peer interaction. A computer lab is also located at the centre which promotes digital literacy and skills.
Cassandra Morrison, NCSC executive director, noted that the free internet service through the Flow Foundation will be a life-changer for the council and its members.
“I can’t begin to tell you the impact the Internet access will have!” Morrison exclaimed. “It is just as important to our seniors as it is to the younger generation to have this kind of resource. They are going on social media, doing online shopping and all those kinds of things so we are really grateful for our partnership with the Flow Foundation.”
Addressing the social benefits to the seniors, Morrison added: “It is very important for our seniors to have a place where they can come to socialise and connect with other seniors. This is why the activity centre is such a vital part of our offerings. It also allows the staff at the council to interact with and engage them in a meaningful way.”
The Flow Foundation’s support of the activity centre also extends to educational sessions on digital literacy including sending and receiving emails and using social media.
Other utility providers are also part of the sensitisation sessions, demonstrating how the seniors can use their respective apps to pay bills online.