Digicel Foundation rebuilds Lakes Pen Basic School, St.Catherine
November 10th 2004– Kingston, Jamaica
Digicel Staff Work with Community to Complete Project in Just 6 Weeks
The Digicel Foundation, the non-profit organization established and driven by Digicel staff for the sole purpose of building sustainable communities across Jamaica and the Caribbean region, has completed the rebuilding of Lakes Pens Basic School, St Catherine.
The school, was rebuilt in record time through the combined effort of the community, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and The Digicel Foundation. Founder and Chairman of Digicel Group and Patron of the Foundation, Mr Denis O’Brien, was in St Catherine today to help Digicel staff with the finishing touches before the keys of the fully refurbished school were handed over to school Principal Ms Rose White by Mr Harry Smith, Chairman of the Digicel Foundation.
“We are very pleased to mark the speedy completion of The Digicel Foundation’s first proactive undertaking in Jamaica,” commented Mr Denis O’Brien. “As a core value, Digicel believes in giving back to the community that has allowed the company to grow from strength to strength over the past three years. Our vision is to support projects that cater to educational, social and/or cultural opportunities that can inspire positive energy in young people leading to stronger self-sufficient communities. We look forward over the next years to working together with the Jamaican Government and NGOs in strengthening Jamaica’s communities.”
Minister of Education, Youth and Culture Ms Maxine Henry-Wilson saw first hand the excellent work completed by the Digicel Foundation and thanked Digicel for their ongoing commitment towards the advancement of our nation.
The Executive Board of the Digicel Foundation is Chaired and almost entirely staffed by Digicel employees. “A decision was made early in the process that the best people to drive the Foundation were Digicel staff members themselves” said Digicel Foundation Chairman and Commercial Director of the company’s Jamaica operations, Mr Harry Smith.
“We wanted communities not only to benefit from the financial support of the Foundation but also from the skills, team work and dedication of our extraordinary staff in order for the projects to be truly sustainable. We have rebuilt the Lakes Pens Basic School in six weeks by doing it the Digicel way: careful planning, efficient management and rapid rollout” he added.
Managing Director of JSIF, Ms Scarlett Gillings, whose organization assisted in the project management, said she was delighted at the partnership between the Digicel Foundation and JSIF to create sustainable projects in communities like Lakes Pen.
Digicel has already committed up to US$ 5 million to the Digicel Foundation in support of rebuilding communities across the Caribbean that have suffered the effects of Hurricane Ivan. JA$ 200 million was donated to the Jamaican national recovery fund of which JA$ 50 million went specifically towards the repairing of damaged schools.
The Digicel Foundation supports nonprofit organizations and projects in education, civic and community service, and arts and culture throughout the region. One of the aims of the Foundation in Jamaica is to support one project in each of the fourteen parishes over the next few years.
Application forms for projects are available online at www.digicelfoundation.org/application.htm, andall authorized Digicel dealer stores or by writing to:
Major General Robert Neish
10 – 16 Grenada Way