Sharing and collaborating to Empower Communities to use ICTs for Development
Jamaica benefitting in media and ICT from UNESCO
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
COMMUNITY radio stations and multimedia centres are among the projects
undertaken in Jamaica by the United Nations Educational Scientific and
Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and have given urban and rural
communities greater access to information.
The success of these activities in Jamaica has led the way in UNESCO
establishing similar projects elsewhere in the Caribbean, the agency's
officials told editors and reporters during the Observer's Monday
The radio stations established with the assistance of UNESCO include Roots FM at the charity organisation Mustard Seed
Communities in Kingston, JET FM -- the station of the Jeffrey Town
Farmers Cooperative in St Mary, and a station which serves the inmate
population at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre and the South
Camp Rehabilitation Centre in Kingston.
The prison radio network, which is operated by the inmates themselves,
provides information on rehabilitation and education, UNESCO's director
for the Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean Dr Kwame Boafo said.
He noted that similar prison radio stations have since been established
in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.
JET FM is providing information to farmers about farming techniques and
markets, he disclosed. Also established with UNESCO help is a container
project in Palmer's Cross in Clarendon at which so-called youth-at-risk
are trained in marketable multimedia skills.
"Jamaicans are very ingenious and inventive," Dr Boafo said, noting the
information and communication technology equipment have been placed in
unconventional locations, such as in wheelbarrows.
Dr Boafo also disclosed that an information literacy initiative was
successfully implemented, and that UNESCO is in discussion with the
Ministry of Education and the Jamaica Library Service for its expansion.
The information literacy initiative aims to help persons understand "the message behind the message" in media broadcasts.
UNESCO is also working with the Caribbean Institute of Media and
Communication at the University of the West Indies to introduce online
courses in community media and journalism.
The agency also supports and initiates activities to mark World Press Freedom day in May each year.
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