WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 07, 2020: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – In April, the Digicel Foundation issued a call to all registered Community-Based Organisations, Faith-Based Organisations and other Non-Profit Organisations to apply for funding under the EPIC grant initiative. In spite of the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, community groups were even more compelled to continue serving their communities and those in need. Two such groups are Vitas House Hospice and The Oral Roots Tradition Foundation that successfully secured TT$40,000 and TT$35,000 respectively in EPIC funding from the Digicel Foundation.
The Vitas House Hospice used its funding to refurbish a storage room for medical equipment. The hospice, which cares for terminally ill cancer patients, can now store their equipment in a secure, safe and appropriate space.
In her remarks at the modest project launch, Dr. Asante Van West-Charles-Le Blanc, Chairman of the Vitas House Hospice Board extended words of gratitude to the Digicel Foundation saying that she was especially grateful that the Foundation continued with their unwavering support and dedication to the institution in spite of the COVID -19 pandemic.
As the Vitas House Hospice brought the curtains down on their initiative, The Oral Tradition ROOTS Foundation kicked theirs off with a project launch on September 30. Oral ROOTS Traditions launched its online Beyond the Lens project for vulnerable youths in at-risk situations. The project focuses on using media, in particular photography as tool to engage with the Enterprise Police Youth Club.
The ‘Beyond the Lens’ project is an innovative pedagogical creative talent incubator, combining youth and adult education and oral traditions with digital media, to create advocates for social change.
In his opening remarks, founder/CEO Mtima Solwazi stated that the ROOTS Foundation is about creating pathways to success through festivals, interventions and media outreach to effect social change. He stressed the importance of positive stimulation for the youth as it is crucial during this time. Lead facilitator, Michael Logie gave an overview of the course that will focus on distinguishing between ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed, understanding “Composition” and how it affects an image, learning how to apply a unique and keen eye to landscape photography and how to perfect mobile photography.
The virtual sessions will be held every Wednesday and Friday targeting 12 youth from the Enterprise Police Youth Club. Beyond the Lens is a collaboration between the Oral ROOTS Tradition Foundation, Horizon Media TT, Trinidad and Tobago Police Youth Clubs and the Digicel Foundation.
Digicel Foundation’s ‘Extraordinary Projects Impacting Communities’ small grants initiative is in its fifth year. Twenty-five new grants will be issued to new community partners by March 2021.