August 30, 2005 – Kingston, Jamaica
In keeping with its commitment to assist in advancing the educational needs of the people of the region, the Digicel Foundation has committed J$5 million towards the construction of the UWI Lion’s Resource Centre for Students With Disabilities
The groundbreaking ceremony took place Tuesday, August 30, 2005 on the grounds of the University’s Mona Campus
The non-profit organization, Digicel Foundation, is the largest single donor to the project. It is partnering with the Lion’s Club of Mona and the UWI Development and Endowment Fund in efforts to establish the centre.
The Lion’s Club of Mona applied to the Digicel Foundation for assistance after deciding to upgrade and expand the current facilities for special students on the UWI campus. The entire project will cost J$31 million and the Lion’s Club through fundraising efforts and private sector sponsoring has raised J$14 million.
Harry Smith, Chairman of the Digicel Foundation, expressed his satisfaction that the Foundation could participate in such a worthwhile venture: “The construction of this centre will ensure the development of the fullest potential of the people of the Caribbean, regardless of their physical or mental challenges. This is what region-building is all about.
Hailing the erection of the new facility as “a milestone for not only the University of the west Indies, but indeed a shot in the arm for educational opportunities in the region,” the Digicel Foundation Chairman added, “With modern and state-of-the-art facilities…I am confident that these special students will perform exceptionally and be among the highest achievers at the University.
For Dr. Keith Peart, Chairman of the Resource Centre Committee at the Lion’s Club of Mona, the Foundation’s contribution is significant and will certainly help with the construction of this modern, state-of-the-art facility. “We approached the Digicel Foundation for help because we heard that it was in the business of assisting projects that would aid particular groups in need. This generous donation will go towards enabling these special students to perform effectively with other students that are not physically challenged.
The UWI Lion’s Resource Centre for Students With Disabilities will consist of a two story building with the first level equipped with sound proof rooms, reading and exam classrooms, restrooms, embossing and recreational facilities. The second level will be an assessment and counseling room specifically geared to help students who suffer from learning disabilities.
The Digicel Foundation was established in 2004 to improve the quality of life in communities across Jamaica by supporting community based and driven activities: embracing educational, social and cultural opportunities. Among projects undertaken by the Foundation are: