THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 30, 2021: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD-AND TOBAGO: The Digicel Foundation hosted its 7th Annual General Meeting, virtually via Microsoft Teams on Thursday 30th September. The agenda for this year’s AGM detailed an impressive overview of its accomplishments for the past financial year April 2020- March 2021. Not to be deterred by all the arising challenges resulting from the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, the Foundation reported that they successfully invested TT$3.4 million in 33 projects that impacted over 21,000 persons in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Digicel Foundation team presented the year in review under the theme “Being extraordinary in extra-ordinary times”. The year’s theme rightfully encapsulated notable projects such as the Digicel Foundation’s Connecting You initiative that provided 1,915 devices to 63 schools in Trinidad and Tobago and launch of the Masters of Prep app, which is virtual reality game to build disaster preparedness and manage emergencies. Additionally, the Foundation invested and assisted in 23 Community project through its EPIC (Extraordinary Projects Impacting Communities) grant funding. Amidst all of these projects, there came the successful second virtual execution of Girls Power Tech, which set out to inspire young girls to consider and pursue careers in ICT.
Keeping with the theme, of Being Extraordinary, the AGM included contributions from DJ Joe Brien and TV host, Shamla Maharaj. Both of whom shared their personal stories of how they continue to overcome discrimination and lobby for inclusion in society. Delivering the Feature Address was Carlyle Gabbidon who is the Café Manager of Deaf Can! Coffee, which is a social enterprise based in Jamaica that trains young people with hearing impairment to become professional baristas. Carlyle’s message was yet another recount of rising above insurmountable odds to build a successful business in spite of his disability and empowering others to do the same.
Under the leadership of CEO, Penny Gomez, the Digicel Foundation continues to grow and deepen its relationships with communities and build strategic relationships that improve opportunities for persons with disabilities. CEO Penny Gomez shared; “COVID-19 affected all of our plans.” She added, “My team is small but a group of resilient caring young women. Together with our partners, we quickly assessed what the critical needs were and responded with support that kept us all going during the dark time…this AGM is important so that we can celebrate all the wins in spite of the obstacles we all endure.”
Just about 50 individuals attended the virtual hosting of the team. They included representatives from special needs schools, Special Olympics TT, Ryu Dan Empowerment Foundation, CISCO, Ministry of Social Development, Court Shamrock, Mt St George Police Youth Club, NALIS, Lady Hochoy Schools, IDB, etc.
All of the Digicel Foundation partners played a pivotal role in the success of the past year. Receiving awards for outstanding partnerships this year was Hydra, IDB-Lab, Coded Arts and Digicel- Head of Public Relations, Mr. Colin Greaves.