mervin Thomas-Jarman
Founder and director of mongrelStreet I have been a street activist for more than twenty years. In 1985 I founded the youth club ‘Napoli FC’ a local community football club in Savannah Cross, Clarendon, that earned the support and respect of youth in Palmers Cross District and surrounding communities. I was also active in community development and local politics.

I eventually migrated to London, England where I set up ‘IANI Media’ its primary objectives was to ease the black community and its small business owners onto the then acclaimed ‘Super-Highway’ another way to describe the Internet back then. In 1995, I co-founded the avant-garde digital arts group ‘Mongrel Collective’, and in 1999 I started the mongrelStreet Initiative to produce projects for street youth around the world. My first production was ‘When The Screen Goes Black’ a workshop produced for youth in the Stone Bridge Park area of Harlesden NW10, working with the Social Inclusion Unit of Brent Council. In 2003 under the mongrelStreet umbrella I established the Container Project in Palmers Cross Jamaica, working with the community and local youth with challenging behaviour that had earned them the label ‘hard to reach’. In 2008, I created the iStreet Lab a community multimedia-training unit in 240L garbage disposal wheelie bin.

The iStreet Lab is a behavioural change tool, a socially engineered multimedia lab for youth and community development. I developed a unique and pioneering approach in delivering services to hard to reach youth. I have always focused my activities on the needs of the most vulnerable client group without making compromises in order to satisfy Government priorities or current trends. I speaks regularly at conferences and has contributed to numerous publications. The Container Project was a winner of the Stockholm Challenge Award 2008 in the Education category for – Lifelong Learning using ICT for community development’ – and I was awarded the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Services (BH(M)) – In community development using ITC for young people and adults in the Palmers Cross Clarendon area of Jamaica.