More than thirty young Barbadians learned basic skills for developing successful mobile apps and producing high-quality digital photography at a special workshop facilitated by the BrightPath Foundation, in collaboration with Columbus Communications.
A mix of small business owners and entrepreneurs assembled at the Cave Hill School of Business for BrightPath's TechLink, a regional technology education program offering training in digital content creation and business development.
Bevil Wooding, executive director of BrightPath Foundation, described TechLink as "practical training in technology related skills to communities across the region.”
“Making the shift from digital consumers to digital producers is important for creating the jobs and businesses of the future. How successfully we build the digital Caribbean of tomorrow depends on how well we build our technical capacity today,” Wooding said.
Facilitators Stephen Lee, Mark Headley and Juma Bannister led the sessions of the one-day workshop.
"What makes TechLink unique is that it really gets participants to see the impact they can have as content creators in whatever medium they choose," Lee said.
Lee, CEO of ArkiTechs Inc, an IT services company, is a Jamaica-born BrightPath volunteer. He led participants through the fundamentals of mobile app development.
His eager young students were visibly and audibly enthused by the opportunity to get hands-on training.
In a nearby room, a group of photography enthusiasts were schooled by another expert volunteer facilitator. Juma Bannister, a Trinidad-based professional photographer and head of Relate Studios, covered the basics of digital photography and followed up by overseeing an afternoon of practical exercises around the scenic campus venue.
"Photography has always been a wonderful way to tell stories in pictures. Now, with the internet, we can also easily share those picture stories of our region with the world,” Bannister said.
“Initiatives like BrightPath’s TechLink benefit individuals and communities by enabling us to solve our own problems and create our own opportunities. It creates independence, inspiring us to take risks, and encourages global involvement,” said Shelly Ann Hee Chung, Columbus Communications vice president of sales and marketing for the Eastern Caribbean.
Commenting on the collaboration with BrightPath Lee said, “Columbus and BrightPath Foundation are equally committed to developing technology capacity in the Caribbean. Columbus’ support for BrightPath’s pioneering TechLink initiative brings this dream to life.”
The TechLink initiative, launched in Grenada last November, is being rolled out across the Caribbean. The Barbados workshops were held on June 21st. TechLink’s next stop is scheduled to take place on July 12 in St. Lucia.