Sun | Jul 5, 2020

Digicel Foundation pumps $42m in humanitarian project

Published:Monday | May 25, 2020 | 12:08 AM
Digicel Group Chief People Officer, Emer Jameson (left), and Charmaine Daniels, CEO of the Digicel Foundation, pack grocery boxes.
Digicel Group Chief People Officer, Emer Jameson (left), and Charmaine Daniels, CEO of the Digicel Foundation, pack grocery boxes.

DIGICEL FOUNDATION has announced a significant investment in Jamaica’s response to the COVID-19 crisis with the launch of its $42-million islandwide humanitarian project, Operation SAFE, (Sanitising, Advocating, Feeding, and Enabling) in the fight against COVID-19.

Chief Executive Officer of the Digicel Foundation, Charmaine Daniels, said Operation SAFE is part of the foundation’s new strategy to deliver greater impact to those most in need in society.

“This is a major step forward in the foundation’s determination to support the growing number of vulnerable persons in our society who have been displaced by the ongoing crisis, and could do with some much-needed help during this time,” Daniels said.

Digicel Foundation will team up with the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) to carry out a deep-cleaning exercise at the Coronation Market in downtown Kingston.

The foundation has already distributed hand sanitisers and disinfectant to Jamaica’s 13 infirmaries, and donated $500,000 towards feeding wards of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency. Phone credit and data plans were also gifted to the foundation’s special-needs partners, farmers and students across the island.

DELIVERY NETWORKS

The foundation is also helping local farmers to establish delivery networks in order to reach consumers who are unable to go to markets as a result of the current restrictions.

At the same time, a series of public service announcements aimed at promoting social distancing and the benefits of improved personal hygiene methods will be launched shortly.

From its overall investment, $20 million in food and household items has been dedicated to feeding those in need. The foundation, along with volunteers from Digicel Jamaica, has commenced distribution of food packages to community groups across the island.

The foundation has donated 1,000 tablets to the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information towards providing access to online education tools through the use of tablets and mobile data by children with special needs. Each tablet is SIM-enabled and will all have one month of free data.

Chairperson of the Digicel Foundation, Jean Lowrie-Chin, thanked patron Denis O’Brien and the team for the work done so far to support Operation SAFE.

“We are heartened by the gratitude expressed by citizens far and wide for the assistance they have received. We applaud our hard-working Digicel Foundation team members and volunteers from Digicel Jamaica for their energetic participation,” she said.