Thu | Jan 24, 2019

Digicel Foundation opens 150th Haitian school

Published:Thursday | December 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Two of the more than 5,000 children who are now getting an education in more comfortable surroundings, thanks to the Digicel Foundation's school-building initiative in Haiti. - Contributed
The 150th school, the Ecole Nationale de Grande Savane, was officially opened by Digicel chairman and patron of the foundation, Denis O'Brien (left). School principal, Isaac C├ęsaire (centre), and Haiti's Minister of National Education and Vocational Training Nesmy Manigat also participated. - Contributed
A view of the new school buildings at the Ecole Nationale de Grande Savane. - Contributed

The Digicel Foundation recently opened its 150th school in Haiti. The school, Ecole Nationale de Grande Savane, was founded in 2011, and before the foundation's intervention, had been operating in facilities not conducive to learning.

Now there are new buildings that meet modern earthquake- and hurricane-resistant standards, nine new classrooms, administrative offices, a playground, sanitary facilities, a computer lab and a library.

Speaking at the opening, Digicel chairman and patron of the foundation, Denis O'Brien, said; "This is a proud occasion for the Digicel Foundation as we mark the inauguration of the 150th school built as part of our construction programme which started back in 2007. Today, 50,000 children attend these schools."

He continued; "The development of Haiti and its future relies heavily on the investment made in children today, and Digicel remains committed to improving education in Haiti, in partnership with the Ministry of Education. We are now starting a new two-year programme that will directly and indirectly benefit some 20,000 children. Access will be improved through a construction programme to provide more schools and a reinvestment programme in the existing schools - in addition to providing teacher training for 500 teachers."

School principal, Isaac Cesaire, said teachers and students who endured calamities because of the disastrous conditions in their previous school were profoundly grateful to the Digicel Foundation.

To date, the foundation has invested more than US$30 million in its school-building project, completing 150 schools and creating more than 10,500 construction jobs.