Youths complete free internet cafe course

Stabroek News
August 2, 1999

Twenty-seven children between the ages of 8-15 years, on Friday graduated from Guybernet, an internet cafe, after completing a two-week summer programme in Computers and Sustainable Development.

The course, which culminated on July 29, is the first in a series which is designed to help youths acquire skills such as computer literacy and to develop an awareness of such issues as sustainable development and the protection of the environment.

Richard Olver, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in delivering the feature address, commented that the graduation of the students who learnt how to use the internet and create web pages among other things, was a good thing both for the children and Guyana. He said it was the first step in improving their computer literacy skills which are necessary to bring Guyana into the information age and bridge the gap between Guyana and the more industrialised countries.

Olver noted that the web pages created will be the voices of Guyana's children which will go out into the world.

Trevor Benn, who is a director of Guybernet and has helped to manage and coordinate the project, explained that the GuyberNet Youth project also hosts free classes in Youth Development, Leadership Development, and Personal Hygiene and Development.

He said the purpose of the organisation is to provide youths with entrepreneurial skills and to facilitate young people and youth groups to attend meetings and fora overseas. He also explained that though the courses are free including the just completed computer course, they will not be free in the future as there is a cost attached to the use of computers. He explained however, that all profits generated will be ploughed back into the youth programme.

Benn said that GuyberNet is a non-profit organisation which was funded by the European Union (EU) and managed by a board of directors appointed by the Eccles/Moblissa Youth Leaders Council which was the recipient of the EU grant. He explained that Guyana was the first in a series of countries slated to receive the grant for this purpose from the EU.

The computer and sustainable development course was conducted with the help of the UNDP which provided the organisation with financial and other assistance through its Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP).

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