The first ever Ga Mashie 360 Learning Centre for children was yesterday opened at Jamestown, a suburb of Accra.
The 30-seater centre, funded by SOS Advance, comprised a library, an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Centre and a vocational skills training centre.
It is aimed at helping children within the community develop the habit of reading, enhance their ICT as well as vocational skills.
It was opened by No Limit Charity Organisation in partnership with Changing African Lives Foundation (CALF), both NGOs.
The Executive Director of the organisation, Ms Rita Esionam Garglo, said the move formed part of efforts to contribute to the development of young people in Ga Mashie, especially Jamestown.
According to her, being a native of Jamestown and growing up in the community, it has been her passion to support children in the community since James Town was known as place where young people dropped out of school and did not have any skill to become employable.
Ms Garglo said the learning centre would be opened to both old and young to help them read, acquire knowledge and skills in basics of ICT.
“From 0800 hours to 1700 hours, children can pass through and the elderly who want to use the space to do research can come from 1700 to 1900. We want to have everyone in the community involved in this project. The vocational skills training centre too is opened for all young people to learn bead making, make up, decoration, sewing, hairdressing among others,” she added.
Ms Garglo explained that the ICT and vocational training would take a duration of one month and three years respectively, which would be partially free.
“This will be done in collaboration with other professionals in the community and SOS Advance will provide scholarship for three brilliant but needy children to undergo the training.
“We want to change the negative perception about Jamestown and let people know that the community is made up of great people. So we will go ahead to sensitise them on the need to read and learn a trade after school, especially the JHS graduates before they go back to school,” she stated.
Ms Garglo expressed gratitude to her sponsors and appealed to other corporate entities to support her empower more children and get some back to school.
The Chairman of CALF, Mr Mark Polack, said as an African-American from the Caribbean, where millions of slaves were taken to through Jamestown, it was heart-warming to give back to the society where his forefathers came from.
“So for a centre like this, we are happy to work with the No Limit to change lives. We work in different areas in Africa where we find there are issues and we can get involved to be part of the solution. The feedback has been amazing,” he added.
The Sub Metro Director for Ashiedu Keteke, Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Madam Mercy Odoi, lauded the organisation for the initiative, saying the Assembly also had similar plans, and would support the initiative to touch many lives.
She encouraged children within the community to visit the centre frequently and make good use of the facility to change their fortunes.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR