60,000 children in Haiti go to school each day thanks to Digicel
Port-au-Prince, Haiti - Wednesday, 21st March, 2018: The Digicel Haiti Foundation, under the patronage of Digicel Group chairman and founder Denis O’Brien, proudly inaugurated its 175th school in Haiti on March 20, following its 2014 commitment to build an additional 25 schools after the completion of the 150th. The school, Ecole Nationale Congréganiste Notre Dame du Perpétuel Secours, located in the Port-au-Prince neighbourhood of Bel Air was completely destroyed in the 2010 earthquake.
Eight years later and the school has been rebuilt with 12 fully furnished classrooms, a canteen, an administration and sanitation block and has close to 600 students in grades 1 to 9.
“We want to do the best we can for the people of Haiti, and we do that by investing in their education, because a solid education becomes the foundation for their future. The children, the teachers, the school directors, everyone involved has a part to play and we hope that this school, along with the 174 that came before it will help them in realising their full potential and put them on a path to a brighter tomorrow”, said Denis O’Brien, Founder and Patron of the Digicel Haiti Foundation.
Not content to simply improve the educational infrastructure, the Foundation also worked towards bettering the quality of education by investing in the human capital. Since 2008, through partnerships with organisations like Initiative Développement (ID), the Université du Québec à Montréal, Université Quisqueya, and the Ecole Normale Ayiti Education, Haitian teachers have been trained to not only teach their students, but to also train other educators and school directors in their country. To date, 2,192 teachers and principals have participated in the programme.
O’Brien added, “Our work in Haiti began in 2006, before the earthquake, and our commitment to the country will continue long after the more tangible effects of the earthquake are gone. This school is dedicated to the 15 sisters who died on site during the 2010 earthquake, and to Kevin Kearny, a fellow board member of Concern Worldwide US who died in 2015. He lived by the saying, ‘Do as much as you can for as many as you can, as well as you can, for as long as you can’ and inspired us to do the same”.