Wed | Jun 20, 2018

Digicel Foundation celebrates 13 years

Published:Wednesday | December 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Jean Lowrie-Chin

After its immense contribution to building sustainability in the areas of education, special needs, social enterprise and community development, the Digicel Foundation celebrates 13 years of operation in Jamaica.

During this time, the Digicel Foundation has completed 1,173 projects and supported more than 620,000 people in Jamaica while working to develop and build sustainable and meaningful programmes and giving back over US$33 million to Jamaica.

According to Denis O'Brien, founder and patron, he has been heartened by the stories of the many beneficiaries whose lives have been made better because of the commitment and dedication of the team.

"It is said that giving back is not just about making a donation, it's about making a difference. A truer statement has never been made ... there is a genuine groundswell and focus on creating change, progress and hope in the lives of people across Jamaica," O'Brien said.

Jean Lowrie-Chin, chairman of the Digicel Foundation, said while there was much more to be done as they continue to see the need for assistance, they look forward to the realisation of their mission that no Jamaican should be left behind.

"The Digicel Foundation salutes our partners in community development, education and special needs, who inspire us with their resolve to aim higher, for the development and well-being of our people," Lowrie-Chin said.

"We will use the achievements of the past year as stepping stones to an even more dynamic 2017-2018, as we acknowledge in our beloved Jamaica 'the urgency of now'," Lowrie-Chin said.

In 2016-2017, the Digicel Foundation completed projects in all 14 parishes, enhancing the lives of 43,598 Jamaicans.

 

ENRICHMENT PROGRAMME

 

One of the foundation's projects include the four-year Education Enrichment Pro-gramme supported by the United States Agency for International Development and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information that came to a successful conclusion this year. This programme impacted over 43,000 students, 200 teachers and principals and 6,000 parents.

Other projects include the support of special needs, with the foundation committed to the building of 10 special-needs schools by the end of 2017, and up to March of this year, nine schools had been built, providing state-of-the art facilities for the students.

"We are building the world that could be: a world where no one gets left behind. The triumphs of this year are proof that our vision is shared by others, and the foundation is overjoyed to celebrate the inspiring successes of these communities which brought life to the pillars of our work," said Dane Richardson, chief executive officer of the Digicel Foundation.

The Digicel Foundation also operates in Haiti, Papua New Guinea, and Trinidad and Tobago with the objective of impacting key markers of development positively, life expectancy, literacy and standard of living in these developing nations.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com