As reflected in the classic song of bygone years “Where will the children play?” is increasingly an important question for community leaders and concerned citizens across the island.
The residents of Bath and the environs in St Thomas got a resoundingly positive answer to that question when the Digicel Foundation presented a renovated multi-purpose court to the Bath Concerned Citizens Association on Saturday, October 27.
The $1.5 million renovation included the installation of nets and hoops, fencing the perimeter, marking and re-marking court boundaries. The facilities are heavily used by schools, youth groups and other groupings from the Bath community, as well as neighbouring communities such as Airy Castle, Hayfield, Johnson Mountain, Sunny Hill and others.
Speaking for the Association, President Dudley Roberts said that the initiative by the Digicel Foundation would strengthen the work of the group in fostering unity and excellence in various developmental fields. “This will reinforce the notion of working together to build a better life for all in the community,” he said.
Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation Major General Robert Neish, concurred with this view. “Everything we do at the Foundation, all the projects such as this one which we fund, is based on building communities and helping the people in these communities attain a better quality of life,” he said.
The gathering also heard from Carol Thompson of the Social Development Commission, as well as guest speaker, Sergeant Milton Collins of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, who reinforced the need for discipline, both in sports and in community building as a whole.
The day’s events also saw matches between community residents and Digicel teams in netball and basketball
The Digicel Foundation proactively helps to empower communities and promote self-reliance through its support for skills training, education, sports and other social programmes. Through these activities, the Foundation aims to build community spirit across Jamaica.
Digicel established Digicel Foundation in 2004. Among other projects implemented by the Foundation are:
· J $1 million and an 8-seater van to the Jamaica Society for the Blind, to aid transportation and purchase visual aids.
· J$3.3 million Multipurpose Sports Complex at, and fencing of, First Hill All-Age School in Trelawny.
· J$9 million construction of Flower Hill Basic School in St. James.
· J$2 million Reading Resource Centre and Mini Library for Savanna-La-Mar Prep and High School in Westmoreland
· J$2.3 million Reading Resource Room for Knockalva Technical High School, located in Hanover.