Kingston, Jamaica – Tuesday, July 24, 2018: Digicel Group was announced the winner of the Gold Award in Philanthropy and the Champion of Champions Award at the 2018 International CSR Excellence Awards held at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London last week.
The International CSR Excellence Awards are owned and operated by The Green Organisation. Established in 1994, The Green Organisation is an independent, international, non-profit, non-political environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world.
The Gold Award in Philanthropy and the Champion of Champions Award were presented to Digicel in acknowledgment of its work in Haiti in advance of and, in particular, after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Having built 20 schools in Haiti before the earthquake struck, Digicel stepped up its commitment and, over the course of the following eight years, completed 155 more; a total of 175 schools by the end of March 2018, all built to resist earthquakes and hurricanes.
With 85% of schools in the capital destroyed, Digicel contributed tremendously in rebuilding, not just the infrastructure, but also the morale of the students and teachers. Today, more than 60,000 students each day attend school and have a brighter future, thanks to Digicel’s work.
“It’s difficult to explain the level of devastation in Haiti right after the earthquake; so much had been lost. The sadness and fear was palpable and we knew that we needed to do something, while accepting that we couldn’t do everything. Knowing that Haiti’s most vulnerable, their children, were living in a constant state of terror we decided to continue focusing on education. This would give them a sense of stability and provide them with hope for a brighter future”, said Sophia Stransky, CEO of Digicel Haiti Foundation.
After starting the rebuilding process, two years later in 2012, Digicel launched the Leadership Enrichment and Educational Development programme. With only 20% of teachers in Haiti having studied education, closing the gap between the unaccredited and the accredited was a priority. Now, the tens of thousands of students who benefit from a transformed educational environment, also enjoy an improved learning experience through the guidance of near 2,000 school directors and teachers who participated in this training initiative.