The Daily Gleaner
Published: Saturday | December 4, 2010

FIFTY-ONE graduates from a capacity-building programme run by bauxite company Jamalco were challenged to use their newly acquired literacy and numeracy skills to empower themselves and serve their communities.

The challenge came from executive director of the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), Dr Alison Cross, who was guest speaker at the project's first graduation ceremony held recently at the Halse Hall Great House in Clarendon.

"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 Dr Cross.

The graduates have completed level three in phase one of the project, funded by the Alcoa Foundation through Jamalco with US$110,000 over a two-year period. The objective is to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of some 180 residents in six communities located in the bauxite/alumina company's mining operations area in Clarendon and South Manchester. The project is being implemented by the JFLL.

Valedictorian Donnette Graham of Mount Airy in Clarendon, said she was happy to graduate from the programme, noting that the graduates had been given another opportunity to unlock the mysteries of the world by reading and discovering things for themselves.

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 of the project is to be rolled out in six other communities in Mocho, Clarendon, and in south Manchester soon.