Digicel Foundation brings brighter back-to-school days to Mayfield
Press Release – August 26, 2005, Southfield, Jamaica
Digicel Foundation makes bumper book donations to Mayfield All-Age
Eleven months ago when Hurricane Ivan caused devastation to this island, it not only took with it the roofs of some of the classrooms at Mayfield All-Age school in St. Elizabeth, but destroyed over $500,000 worth of textbooks and teachers’ guides.
As a result, the students at the hurricane-ravaged school went through the 2004-2005 academic year without easy access to the relevant textbooks, thereby forcing them to rely heavily on the community library.
Through funds donated by Digicel staff members, Digicel Foundation stepped in to address this major hurdle facing Mayfield All-Age, by purchasing the much-needed books and other school supplies for the institution, in time for the start of the 2005/2006 school year.
“When the Foundation heard about the significant shortage of books facing the students and teachers at Mayfield All Age as a result of hurricane damage, we approached the Principal Mr. Tatham and enquired how we could assist,” Major General Robert Neish, Executive Director, Digicel Foundation told participants in today’s (Friday’s) Book Handing-Over Ceremony at the School. “Mr. Tatham outlined to the Foundation, the numbers and nature of the books required.”
To date, the non-profit organization, Digicel Foundation has committed JA$200 million to the national Hurricane-Ivan rehabilitation initiative – the largest private sector donation to that islandwide thrust.
The Foundation partnered with Sangster’s Book Stores which sourced atlases, dictionaries, phonics books and a wide range of other English Language books, scrapbooks, compasses, protractors, and world maps for teachers.
Sangster’s Book Stores has applauded the effort by Digicel Foundation to make school supplies available to Mayfield All-Age. “Its commendable what Digicel Foundation decided to do for Mayfield All-Age. When the Foundation contacted us to purchase the books, we urgently moved to fill its request, by sourcing the books both locally and overseas in a short space of time, ” said Mr. Locksley Henry, Managing Director, Sangster’s Book Stores.
Burnett Coke, Board Director and Dionne Ramdeen, Secretary of the Digicel Foundation presented the books this afternoon to Clovis Tatham, Principal of the school during an official handing over ceremony at the institution.
Addressing participants during the handing over ceremony, Major General Robert Neish outlined other educational initiatives being implemented by the organization to prepare schools for the new school year. He disclosed that during the summer holidays the Digicel Foundation completed the expansion, refurbishing and equipping of the Guidance Counselling Unit at Ascot Primary School in St. Catherine.
According to Major General Neish the Foundation is also lending its support to the Mustard Seed/Widows Mite project in Nine Miles, where a Physiotherapy Unit, Internet Café and skills training venture are being established for the youth.
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: