Jay and Sylvia Sobhraj Foundation to equip GPF with another computer centre

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A GPF Computer Centre

By: Amar Persaud 

The Jay and Sylvia Sobhraj Foundation, which recently handed over a newly-constructed computer centre to the Wismar Police Station in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), has already identified the next area to be equipped with another centre.

On Saturday, the organisation announced that the next computer centre is set to be constructed at the Regional Headquarters, New Amsterdam, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), which will be the sixth centre constructed by the foundation for Guyana Police Force (GPF).

This, according to Information Technology Consultant and a member of the foundation, Nardio Singh, will cement the GPF and the foundation’s almost 10 years of collaboration.

“…we’re now doing the logistics works the design so I would say that probably end up in September/October.”

There are also introductory discussions to have a similar centre in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) but these deliberations are at an infancy stage.

Singh stated that the foundation’s collaboration with the GPF started after the organisation noticed the law enforcement agency did not have the necessary technological skills and equipment that would critically be needed in the Information Technology era of the future.

“We saw that the Guyana Police Force didn’t have the technological skills and the resources and we thought it was most appropriate to forge a partnership with them. In 2012, June, we built the first computer centre at the Felix Austin Police College in Berbice.”

“There were no computers then so it would have been difficult for the policemen and women today to have the skills if they don’t have the computer. Not only having the computer but having the kind of high-end quality training to go with that,” he explained.

The Jay and Sylvia Sobhraj Foundation later constructed centres at the Richard Faikall Police College, Suddie, Essequibo Coast, Region Two; the GPF Officers Training Centre, Camp Road, Georgetown; and a cyber centre, at the Police Headquarters, Eve Leary Georgetown.

Some of these centres are not exclusively for the members of GPF but also for the members of the community who would also receive free training there in many different areas of Information Technology.

The Jay and Sylvia Sobhraj Foundation, based in the United States, has been contributing to Guyana for last 12 years and has also collaborated with the University of Guyana (UG) – with the Jay and Sylvia Sobhraj Centre for Behavioural Science – which is currently officially called the School of Psychology, as well as the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) to equip them with a computer centre.

The IT specialist further explained that each centre is equipped with the latest in technology.

“We never short-change these centres. In fact, on this trip, also what we did is with these centres we remove all the old computers and we put in brand new computers and brand-new monitors,” he said.

“So, we’re hitting the education side, we’re hitting the religious side and we’re the Police side; all together are pillars of society,” Singh highlighted.

Meanwhile, Jay Sobhraj, one of the founding members of the foundation, explained that he just wanted to give back to his country.

“We are all Guyanese by birth of course, our roots are here so, we believe in giving to our home, our mother land Guyana…that’s the main reason we see need, we see longevity and most importantly sustainability and we’re very particular with. We start something we maintain it to the end,” he said.

The foundation has on average has donated four and half million US dollars in initiatives like their computer centres.

“We will continue plan and keep maintaining it and keep it going but rightly as said we don’t try to jump into 3 or 4, 5 different centres. Finish one first and when it’s up and running then we look at other areas,” Sobhraj related.

The Jay and Sylvia Sobhraj Foundation has been around for some 15 years and has also executed similar initiatives in New York, helping to better educate the Guyanese diaspora, which is in line with their motto “Education is the Great Equalizer”.