Thursday, August 15, 2013 – Port Moresby, PNG: The Barakau Primary and Elementary Schools received a wonderful surprise when 40 Digicel staff visited them as part of Digicel PNG Foundation’s quarterly volunteer day program. Themed “Clean and Green” the staff of Papua New Guinea’s leading information and telecommunications company, Digicel, joined hands with Digicel Foundation to brighten the Barakau Elementary and Primary School classrooms to ensure the students continued to be educated in an environment that is conducive to learning. Located just 30 minutes outside of Port Moresby along Magi Highway, the Barakau Primary and Elementary School classrooms were funded by Digicel PNG Foundation in 2008 for K279,000 soon after the Foundation was launched on 15th October 2008.
Digicel PNG Foundation CEO, Beatrice Mahuru said: “The Barakau Primary School and the Barakau Elementary School have a lot of sentimental value to us at Digicel PNG Foundation. This was our pioneer project and as this volunteer day confirms, we continue to visit our projects to ensure they are still operating, that they continue to display good governance and great community ownership. We are very proud of our association with the school and thank the teachers, Board of Management and students and the Barakau community for their tremendous efforts to maintain a great school.”.
The Barakau Primary School Headmaster, John Wasigui expressed sincere gratitude for Digicel’s ongoing commitment and contribution to the school’s development: “Please extend our sincere gratitude and deep appreciation to the Digicel Management and Board for your continued support. You are a great role model for students in our school to learn firsthand, what a good corporate citizen does and what it truly means to give back to a community. Not one of you are from Barakau, but you committed your day to come and read to our elementary school students, put some order into our chaotic library, help paint our walls and clean our school yard. ” He described this as voluntary act of the Digicel team as a moment and the energy that will spread beyond their school boundary.
Gary Seddon, Digicel Government Liaison Director and member of Digicel PNG Foundation Board who also took part as a Senior Management Team volunteer thanked the all the staff for their time and support to help Digicel Foundation. He said: “Digicel Foundation is part of Digicel PNG Limited and Digicel gives back to the communities and its subscribers through the investments which the Foundation put back in the communities such as Barakau primary and elementary school classrooms. You have left an indelible mark here, not just in the infrastructure, but in the lives of our rural communities, of which you must all be proud”. Digicel PNG Foundation CEO-Beatrice Mahuru thanked the Barakau school’s teachers and students for their generosity and wished the Grade 8 students all the very best in the mock exams..”
To date the Digicel Foundation has funded 282 community based projects covering 22 provinces in PNG and put K19.79 million back into marginalized PNG communities which has directly impacted more than 200,000 people. The Digicel Foundation plans to continue funding community projects in the area of basic education and health aiming to support communities as they become more self-reliant in the future.