May 26th 2006 – Kingston, Jamaica
Students of the Hayes Primary and Junior High School in Clarendon are now equipped to attain the highest quality skills-training in Industrial Techniques and Woodworking. In a ceremony held at the school on Thursday May 25, Digicel Foundation showed unprecedented support for the school by handing over $2.5 million in equipment, and a renovated woodwork classroom.
In giving an overview of the project, Mark Nicely, Principal of the school noted that the school board recognized the need for a woodwork department in 2004. The proposal to construct and equip a woodwork classroom was submitted to the Digicel Foundation, approved, and has now been completed.
Major General Robert Neish Executive Director of Digicel Foundation said, "As with all the other projects we undertake regarding the education and development of our children, this project is especially important to us, as we believe these factors to be vital for a progressive society."
President Elect of the Jamaica Teachers Association, Hopeton Henry, in speaking on the project said "This is recognition of the enhanced role, which allows for the private sector to partner with schools for the transformation of education in Jamaica."
With the now fully operational department, Digicel Foundation's contribution has proved not only important but also very timely. The power saws, planning tables and other forms of heavy-duty tools donated to the school will aid teacher-assisted students in producing high quality products that will, in turn, assist neighbouring schools with their various furniture needs.
Since the inception of the Foundation just over two years ago, a huge amount of money has been pumped into various projects. This includes constructing and equipping numerous basic schools islandwide, and a donation of JA$200 million dollars to assist with the recovery effort of Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Major General Neish announced the Foundation's latest project to build an audio-visual centre and reading room to assist students with learning disabilities at the Ferncourt High School in St. Ann.
Digicel Foundation is a non-profit organization established by Digicel in 2004, to support community-based and community-driven activities. Among projects implemented by the Foundation are:
The Foundation is also a recipient of the UWI Principal's Award for outstanding contribution to research.