Some children denied access because of school administration

On September 24th, Official VK Line delivered on its promise to bring free robotics to Portmore. The class was held at Greater Portmore High with children building their robots from scratch, programming them and ending the fun, educational class with a race of the bots. The children were then provided with meals from House of Dancehall, the bar and restaurant that hosted the brand’s launch party.

“Although the children enjoyed themselves and learnt a lot, we are a bit disappointed”, said Shona-Lee S. Thompson, brand manager of Official VK Line, “we really wanted to more schools involved so the class could be far-reaching and have more of an impact, but a few of the schools did not accept our invitation.” The brand recently announced its intentions to hold the robotics class and to extend invitations to all high schools in Portmore as a part of their GEL programme; GEL stands for Gaza Education and Literacy. “So it’s a bit saddening that children were denied the exposure and the opportunity, but the day was still a success and we’re thankful for that. Vybz Kartel has explained to us that any business venture we do together must benefits ghetto youth and/or children. In fact, he has insisted that it is the primary goal of all our ventures and I support that 100%. It was good to see the children learn and have fun but the icing on the cake is us exposing the children of Portmore to things that may have been cost prohibitive for them otherwise. ”

The class was held by Halls of Learning, a Jamaican-based organisation that hosts after-school robotics clubs and annual robotics summer camp.0 They are also involved in outreach programmes; in 2008, they brought their programmes into 8 underprivileged communities and over 6 years, awarded 800+ scholarships to children who lived there. Since 2014, through a partnership with the Musson Foundation, Halls of Learning started doing “Lego Yuh Mind Outreach Day” and through that effort has awarded 600+ scholarships to their 1-day event. UNICEF featured their work in the Kingston community of Mountain View as a part of their 2015 State Of The Worlds’ Children Report. They believe that every child, regardless of background must be given access to high quality experiences in learning.

Official VK Line is Vybz Kartel’s official clothing line. It is available for shipping worldwide from www.officialvkline.com; currently features male and female tops, shorts and intimate wear. The line is set to be a lifestyle brand, based on Vybz Kartel’s Gaza Movement and representative of the poor ghetto or inner city youth with a burning desire for financial success who identify greatly with the mantra “afta yuh nuh more dan mi”.

House of Dancehall is located at 6 Cargill Avenue, St. Andrew; the bar is now open.

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