Sixty Dominicans have graduated from the third (3rd) Cohort of Work Online Dominica.
They received certificates at a ceremony held at Jungle Bay Resort & Spa on Wednesday.
The Work Online Program is an initiative of the Ministry of Public Works and the Digital Economy in collaboration with IsraAID and United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
It was created to guide the youth and to train participants on the road map for accessing an alternative pathway of generating income online by leveraging and building their skills.
“Today we are extremely proud to be graduating 60 participants of the third Cohort of Work Online Dominica,” Country Director of IsraAID, Nicole King, said while addressing the ceremony.
She continued, “For all of you who are graduating today, it is important to understand that right now you are becoming the CEO’s of your life and business, and that privilege comes with a big responsibility.”
She told graduates that they have been granted the possibility to access this opportunity, “and now we are asking you to use wisely.”
“We know it takes time and effort and that sometimes it can be frustrating, but if you work hard it is actually possible to be part of the more than one billion freelancers and join the benefit of remote work worldwide,” she said. “You are becoming Dominica’s digital ambassadors; you are showing the world the quality that exists here. You are opening the doors for those who will come later; you are supporting Dominica to lead the Caribbean digital transformation.”
King went on to say that IsraAID is ready to show this initiative to the region and the world; to share the potential of Dominica’s digital transformation.
According to King, it’s important to understand that investment in technology must go hand-in-hand with efforts to ensure that it is responsible, sustainable, and inclusive.
She said if used correctly, technology can powerfully enable transformation in the years to come.
“Over the past two years, it has been evident that digital solutions have allowed us to continue to interact, study, consume and work,” she stated.
King believes that technology has become such an integral part of life that people sometimes take it for granted, “but we should not, because technology, again, it’s not an end in itself, it is the means to an end.”
“It only makes sense if it serves purpose, if it enhances our lives,” King remarked. “No one should be left behind just because of their age, gender, social background or geographical location.”
She highlighted the need to put not just communities, but people first in order to achieve a successful and inclusive digital transformation.
“We need a digitally skilled population and highly skilled digital professionals,” she noted. “This is where Work Online Dominica plays an important role…we work to help you to reclaim your future, one you can believe in, one that is truly yours.”
Meantime, Head of Office of UNDP Dominica, Luis Francisco said this entrepreneur initiative has so far benefited over 180 persons and is contributing to positioning Dominica as a regional leader in digital transformation.
According to him, it has been almost three years since the program was launched during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is not surprising in this context, that there has been “an accelerating use of digital technologies throughout almost every aspect of our lives.”
“This trend is likely to continue growing at a dramatic speed in the future,” Francisco noted. “What I mean by dramatic are the profound changes we will experience in the economy, the labour markets, and critical sectors such as education, health, energy, [and] commerce among many others that will intertwine with new products and will become the main space for commerce, advertising, [the] gaming industry and a whole new economy will surge around it.”
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