With schools closing for the Christmas holidays, Digicel Foundation in collaboration with the Digicel Volunteer Association brought Christmas cheer to a number of Special Needs schools in the corporate area. These schools include: Mico C.A.R.E. Centre, Promise Learning Centre, Hope Valley Experimental School, Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf and Early Stimulation Plus. A wide range of activities were planned for participating students. While at Promise Learning Centre Digicel team members assisted students with the renovation of the school’s garden. Top soil and flowers were brought in so that students could join in the fun to revive their surroundings. After all of their hard work, the children were presented with Christmas gifts. On the same day, at Mico C.A.R.E. Centre, another Digicel team threw a party with music, games and food for the children. Yet another set of Digicel team members celebrated the upcoming Christmas holidays with students and teachers at Hope Valley Experimental School. The team participated in the school’s Christmas Fair, while also handing out gifts to the students. “The activities were well received. Special accommodations and efforts were made to engage the children and you could see the children responding and participating. Even with sharing out the food, sometimes people come and it’s like a chore, but Digicel seemed like they were really happy to be here,” noted Beverley Gallimore-Vernon, Special Educator at the Hope Valley Experimental School. On Friday, December 13, Digicel’s team members were back on the road to visit the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf. While there, team members were engaged in playing a variety of games and activities including charades, puzzles, painting of masks and other arts and crafts. There was also a beauty booth where ladies could get their hair styled and makeup applied. At the same time, another group was celebrating Christmas with Early Stimulation Plus students and community members associated with the Early Stimulation Programme. Participants were seen having a great time on the bounce-a-bout, swing sets and during the sing-a-long. “The children are in high spirits!” remarked Antonica Gunter-Gayle, Director of Early Stimulation Plus. “This is really the only time of year where the children get this kind of treat with fun activities, gifts, food and that community spirit, interacting with new people, the friendly smiles, the sharing and the genuine care shown. It really does make a difference.” Early Stimulation Plus is a child development centre/basic school that caters to Special Needs students. Less than two months ago, the Digicel Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security that will increase the school’s capacity through a contribution of J$25 million to construct a new building. Digicel Foundation volunteers were also on hand to assist with Christmas activities at the STEP Centre, Genesis Academy and the Jamaica Society for the Blind. Judine Hunter, Programme Manager for Special Needs, was the guest of honour at the Jamaica Society for the Blind Christmas Tree Lighting. “We all look forward to Christmas being a very special time of the year. It was only natural for the Digicel Foundation to bring a little extra Christmas cheer to the Special Needs community as we work closely with them. Our team has been on the ground with the children. This is something we all look forward to every year,” noted Judine Hunter, Programme Manager for Special Needs at the Digicel Foundation.