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$28 Million in Community Grants Now Available Through Digicel Foundation Build Jamaica Programme

We're making real investments in real communities with our 2021 Build Jamaica grant call! This year, we're offering J$28 million in grants - one grant issued per parish valued at $2 million each. “This year, we want to make an even greater impact by working with our community groups to Build Jamaica,” explained our CEO, Charmaine Daniels. “These grants are unique because they allow investments in a wide range of areas however all of the projects still tie back to the communities. That means we’re partnering with and supporting people who live, work and are invested in developing their home towns.” Our Build Jamaica grants are primarily focused on helping schools, community centres and after-school programmes to go digital in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic; creating skill training and employment opportunities for at-risk youths; and growing the capacity of farmers’ groups and social enterprises to increase community employment. “It’s important that each of our projects remains sustainable over time – especially during this period of uncertainty caused by the pandemic,” said Charmaine. “We see the need for our educational programmes to help young persons’ adapt to this online future. Our focus is creating a world where no one gets left behind so we’re looking for projects that can equip our youth with the skills to be fully job-ready and conquer whatever lies ahead.” Among other aspects, the Build Jamaica programme includes training for each of the shortlisted applicants - we will be shortlisting two applicants from each parish. Through the University of the West Indies Centre for Entrepreneurship and Practical Thinking, each group will also get assistance to draft a professional business plan - making them better equipped to apply for future funding. Applications are currently available for download on our website. Further instructions and guidleines to apply can also be found on the site. The application deadline is August 2, 2021.

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US$1 million Donated to Jamaica’s Vaccination Programme

With the demand for vaccines on the rise, the Digicel Foundation is stepping up to help Jamaicans get back to living their lives without restrictions with a US$1 million donation to the National Health Fund (NHF) to assist in its purchase of vaccines. Minister Christopher Tufton met with the Digicel Foundation Patron, Denis O’Brien, on 27th April at the Digicel headquarters in downtown Kingston to accept the donation. Jamaica received its first shipment of vaccines in March and, with a successful vaccination blitz in April, more than 135,000 persons have now received their first dose of the vaccine. With corporate support playing an essential role in the Government of Jamaica’s continued fight against COVID, Digicel’s contribution will help to take those efforts to the next level. The Digicel Foundation has already donated over US$665,000 towards the national pandemic management efforts through its Operation SAFE Mode initiative to sanitise, advocate, feed and enable distance learning – and in November 2020, it also donated a plasma-apheresis machine to assist with the treatment of COVID patients at the University Hospital of the West Indies. Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said; “The Ministry of Health and Wellness is grateful for the continued support and partnership with Digicel, which has been a longstanding corporate citizen. This pandemic has further strengthened and shown the commitment of our private partners and we have always emphasised the importance of partnership in public health as a measure of success - and to which a part of our success can be attributed to.” Commenting on the donation, Digicel Foundation Patron, Denis O’Brien, said; “Vaccines are the most fundamental component in the fight against COVID and in helping people to get back to living their lives free of restrictions. We are proud to do our part to assist the Government’s efforts in encouraging everyone to get vaccinated and look forward to the day when everyone can come back together with family and friends.” Charmaine Daniels, CEO of the Digicel Foundation, commented; “We always want to go above and beyond to help create a world where no one gets left behind and that starts by ensuring that every Jamaican has access to the resources needed to survive this pandemic. With the wellbeing of our people being the top priority, we are committed to working with the Government of Jamaica to beat this virus.”

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Alpha Celebrates New Musical Era with Colm Delves Centre Opening

The Colm Delves Centre at the Alpha Institute is now the new home of Alpha’s iconic School of Music. The building was officially opened on April 27. Known as the cradle of Jamaican music, Alpha has a history of producing amazing musical talent. We sponsored the renovation of the schools’ old dormitories to create a dedicated space for students to practice, learn and access resources. Named in honour of our former Digicel Group CEO, Colm Delves, who passed away in 2020, the Colm Delves Centre hosts rehearsal space for individual musicians, three band practice rooms, a resource centre and equipment for high-quality music recordings. Colm was known by many in the Digicel family as a music aficionado – often spending time at acoustic shows and major reggae concerts. The Colm Delves Centre is an investment in the future of Jamaica’s youth and the future of Jamaican music. Students can now register for classes at the Alpha School of Music when they visit Catch all the action from our unveiling when you click the link:

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Five Organizations Benefit from First Digicel Virtual 5K Run

It was a happy occasion at the Digicel Headquarters in downtown Kingston on November 12, when five organizations were awarded funding from the proceeds raised during the month-long Digicel Virtual 5K. A total of J$7.5 million was donated this year. Held in October, the virtual event was a first for the foundation which has hosted its annual fundraiser on the streets of downtown Kingston for the past 9 years. The new format invited persons from across the globe to participate and donate towards Special Needs. “When COVID-19 hit, like the rest of the world, Digicel Foundation realized we had to pivot,” said Charmaine Daniels, CEO of the Digicel Foundation. Daniels went on to thank corporate sponsors and donors, saying, “We couldn’t have done it with you.” To date, the Digicel Foundation has raised J$69 million (US$493,000) for Special Needs organisations through the annual 5K event. This year’s funds will benefit the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, the Jamaica Autism Support Association, Early Stimulation Plus, Jamaica Downs Syndrome Foundation, and the Promise Learning Centre. “I am happy to be here with my Digicel Foundation family and our wonderful beneficiaries,” said Chairperson Jean Lowrie-Chin. “The Digicel Foundation, through the vision of our generous Founder and Patron Denis O’Brien, has over the past 15 years, invested over US$38.2 million in Jamaica, completing 1,279 projects and supporting 679,747 individual Jamaicans, islandwide. This is made possible by our enthusiastic staff members, and our dedicated partners.” Sponsor, Magna Rewards, was also present at the ceremony. Senior Accounts Manager, Sereta Thompson Wilson, presented Daniels with the funds donated by customers who redeemed their Magna points to assist the Digicel Virtual 5K. Other sponsors included: The LAB, National Outdoor Advertising, Sportsmax, Loop, Suncity, KLAS, Nationwide, Visual Vibe, LOVE FM, Mystique Integrated, Main Event Entertainment Group, Motion Roc, Running Events Limited, Paymaster and Anbell. Corporate donations were also made by: Sagicor, The Jamaica Biscuit Company, MEC Construction, Dutch Construction, First Caribbean CIBC and Inami Management Services. The five organisations will begin implementing their projects immediately. All of these projects will incorporate technology to assist persons with Special Needs during and after the pandemic. “In these challenging times, it is more important than ever for us to unite, and to lift each other up,” said Lowrie Chin. “Always - we are Better Together”!

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