The Daily Gleaner
Published: Wednesday | December 1, 2010

Graduates of the Documentation Skills Project, being implemented by the Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), have been urged to use their newly acquired skills to empower themselves to better serve their communities.

"Use your literacy to solve problems. We are all on a journey of lifelong learning, so move on to other areas and encourage others who cannot read and write to participate in this journey," said executive director of the JFLL, Dr Alison Cross.

She was speaking at the graduation and awards ceremony held recently at Halse Hall Great House in Clarendon. Fifty-one trainees who successfully completed Level Three tests under Phase One of the project participated.

The US$110,000 Documentation Skills Project, which is being funded by Alcoa Foundation through Jamalco, aims to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of some 180 residents in six communities located in Jamalco operations area in Clarendon and south Manchester. It is being implemented by the JFLL over a two-year period.

Key to the future

Leo Lambert, Jamalco's manager for corporate services and government affairs, told the graduates that they now have "the key to unlock the door to a greater future.

"If you are going to be masters of your own destiny, you need tools, including education. You cannot be educated without literacy and numeracy," he said, while congratulating the tutors for committing their time and energy to the project.

Class valedictorian Donnette Graham of Mount Airy, Clarendon, said it was a "glorious day" to graduate.

"We have been given another opportunity to unlock the mysteries of this world by reading and discovering things for ourselves," she said.

Nardia Williamson from the community of Farm, south Manchester, who gave the vote of thanks, praised the Alcoa Foundation, Jamalco and the JFLL for organising "this empowering programme".

Phase one of the project was implemented in Mount Airy and Ashley in Mocho, Clarendon; and in Farm, Manningsfield, Broadleaf and Harmons in south Manchester.

Phase Two will be rolled out in six other communities in the two parishes shortly.