The ICT Summer Camp facilitated by the Carenage Access Centre of the Ministry of Digital Transformation was a resounding success. The only complaint from the youth participants? That it should have been longer. The weeklong Summer Camp, held between July 18-22, 2022, targeted children between 10-15 years who reside in the Carenage community. The participants received hands-on exposure to a wide variety of digital skills, including basic computer literacy, coding, content creation, and computer hardware building.
On the camp’s last day, the children benefitted from entry-level photography lessons with professional photographer Kerron Savory, entrepreneurship and budgeting lessons with entrepreneurship coach, Shey-Anne Cordner, and social media awareness with Sean Persaud, who studies Chemistry at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine
All of the facilitators over the five-day Summer camp were volunteers, many from the community of Carenage, who gave of their time and expertise willingly for the children. Camp facilitator and Customer Service Representative/Assistant Trainer at the Carenage ICT Access Centre, Jah-vaughn Harrison, said the idea to have an ICT Summer Camp came to him because he wanted youths in the area to do something productive with their vacation time
“The way forward is digital transformation and I decided to host a camp with different features of digital transformation,” he said. He expressed gratitude for the help from the community and the Ministry to host the Camp, and was glad to see so many benefit from the lessons imparted, especially on social media awareness.
At the certificate ceremony on the final day of the Camp, the children shared about their experience. Sariah Volney, 11, said she would encourage her friends to join an ICT camp because it was a positive learning experience. Her favourite session was the coding lesson, which she described as “learning how to talk to computers”.
Jayquan Alleyne, another ICT camper, said he enjoyed music programming the most because he was able to learn about different types of beats.
Parents and guardians who attended the certificate ceremony also praised the initiative. Taja Mohammed, whose son attended the camp, expressed her gratitude that he was able to meet like-minded youths during the vacation, and offer ICT learning initiatives so that other students and parents can benefit as it may help with remote work and learning.
Facilitators at the camp also welcomed the idea of more ICT-focused camps. Sean Persaud of Carenage, who led an invigorating session about the power of social media, said the participants were very engaged, and while they may not have ICT resources at home, they were able to access them at the Access Centre.
Malika Muhummed, another staff member at the Carenage Access Centre, said she has personally seen the benefit of the ICT camp in the Carenage area, where the youths received an introduction to the technical aspects of digital transformation.
The Ministry currently has eight (8) Access Centres in communities across Trinidad, where persons can use desktop devices, access the internet and get assistance in accessing online services and basic digital literacy at no cost. The Access Centre at Carenage is located in the Carenage Police Youth Club and Homework Centre on Constabulary Street, Carenage.