Kingston, Jamaica – Tuesday, April 23, 2019: Night fishing is being made safer for fisherfolk and environmentally friendly following a donation of 120 inflatable solar lanterns and flashlights from the Digicel Foundation, Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM) and Solar Buzz Jamaica Limited. The assistance, valued at J$250,000, was made available through the Mek a Muckle Micro-Grant Programme to fisherfolk operating from the communities of Salt River, Portland Cottage, Rocky Point, Mitchell Town, Hellshire and Old Harbour Bay - all located in the Portland Bight area in Clarendon.
The equipment provided by Solar Buzz was handed over recently at Rocky Point Fishing Beach. Officials from the Fisheries Division were present to engage the fishermen in discussions on safety at sea.
Our fishermen face many challenges out on the water. Safety and security is a major concern, especially in bad weather. Executive Director of C-CAM Ingrid Parchment explained that the solar lamps are lightweight, inflatable and can float. “The beauty of them is that they are recharged by the sun – they don’t need a battery,” she pointed out. The lamps give light for eight hours and along with the flashlights, can be set to flash in an emergency situation.
CEO of the Digicel Foundation Karlene Dawson commented that the Mek a Muckle Programme was making a difference in communities. “This donation will have an immediate impact - not only on the fishermen themselves, but also their homes and communities. It is a simple, sustainable and safe solution,” she noted.
Ms. Parchment expressed her gratitude for the donation, noting that most residents in these communities are dependent on fishing, whether directly or indirectly. “I am very pleased that Digicel Foundation decided to partner with us,” she said. “At C-CAM we believe in partnerships, with stakeholders, community members and the private sector, as we work towards the preservation of the area’s rich natural and cultural heritage. We operate three fish sanctuaries, as well as our Discovery Centre in Salt River, which is a focus for environmental education and eco-tourism.” The Portland Bight Protected Area of southern Clarendon and St. Catherine has a population of approximately 50,000, including 4,000 fishermen.
“This August, C-CAM will be celebrating its 21st anniversary,” noted Ms. Parchment. “We are grateful to the Digicel Foundation and look forward to working with them again in the future. Our goal is always to improve lives and sustainable livelihoods in the Portland Bight Protected Area.”
Digicel’s Karlene Dawson urged community-based organizations to apply for the Mek a Muckle Programme. “If you have a good idea for an economic empowerment, special needs or educational project, why not apply? At Digicel Foundation, we can help you make a difference in your community!”
Application forms for micro-grants up to a maximum of J$250,000 are currently available on the Foundation’s website - www.digiceljamaicafoundation.org- and in over 13 dealer stores across the island, including Digicel's flagship stores in Kingston and St. Andrew.
About Digicel Foundation:
Our vision is to help create a world where no one gets left behind. Fully supported by everyone in Digicel, over the last 13 years the Digicel Foundation has completed 1,173 projects and helped over 623,000 people in Jamaica. Concentrating on the areas of education, special needs and community empowerment, we work with communities to develop and implement meaningful interventions. To date, we are delighted to have given back over US$33 million islandwide.
The Foundation’s programmes seek to impact key markers of social and economic development. We achieve this by partnering with governmental and non-governmental organisations, communities as well as individuals to provide critical tools of upliftment that will deliver a measurable impact to the most challenged and disenfranchised citizens. By tapping into community roots and expanding opportunities, we are able to positively impact lives in a sustainable way.
For more information about the Digicel Jamaica Foundation, please visit our website at www.digiceljamaicafoundation.org or follow us @digiceljamaica on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.