The Digicel Jamaica Foundation, which marked the 15th anniversary of its first project in Jamaica on November 10, is rewarding 15 community groups (one in each parish plus one ‘brawta’) by granting them JM$2 million each in funding for a community development project. With the top 30 applicants shortlisted, the Digicel Foundation will announce its final 15 awardees at a ceremony on November 19.
“The response has been overwhelming. We received 132 applications from groups across Jamaica,” said Karlene Dawson, CEO of the Digicel Foundation. “Our Community Development Programme Officer had the difficult job of shortlisting the top 30 applicants and for the last three months our Board of Directors has been visiting the groups to decide on the final 15 – it has not been an easy task.”
Under the theme “15 Strong”, the Digicel Jamaica Foundation, with a call for applications in March 2019, embarked on a quest to identify 15 new community development projects for investment. As finalists, the 30 shortlisted groups took part in a training seminar on October 30. The training was led by Dr. K’adamawe K’nIfe, Strategic Planning and Entrepreneurship Specialist from the Mona School of Business Centre for Entrepreneurship Thinking and Practice.
“This year we wanted to celebrate our proactive involvement in community development by focusing on ensuring that our investment would touch every parish on the island,” said Dawson. “For the past 15 years we have enjoyed serving Jamaica and we look forward to another 15 years. We have been able to make so much possible with the support of our customers and partners.”
The Digicel Jamaica Foundation will announce the top 15 awardees on November 19, during a ceremony at its Ocean Boulevard headquarters. Juliet Holness, Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew and wife of Prime Minister Andrew Holness, will deliver the keynote address.
The Foundation focuses on the areas of Community Development, Education and Special Needs. Since 2017, the Digicel Foundation has been working with the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) to upgrade basic schools for certification by the Commission. “There is a great sense of need in Jamaica, and this starts with our children. We have been working with ECC to ensure that basic schools have the necessary facilities to promote quality education in a safe environment,” said Dawson.