Monday 20th Feb: In March 2016, Filifilia Gafa was selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants to be a part of the Digicel Scholarship Program.
The program awarded applicants who, among other criteria, demonstrated a clear commitment to pursue their studies in technology. Filia was one of five students welcomed into the Digicel Family with a laptop, a smartphone with credit and data, and, of course, payment of University fees and resources.
Following a successful academic year, Filia has been further rewarded with a scholarship sponsored by the New Zealand Government to study in Auckland, an exciting opportunity for the young Samoan.
Filia is one of the sixty-six (66) National University Foundation students who have been selected to further their studies in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
Filia will begin the new semester studying a Computer Science degree at Auckland University and hopes to return to Digicel Samoa during his breaks to continue to increase his knowledge base within the busy organization.
Filia will be joined in Auckland by Ronaldo Pose, another New Zealand scholarship awardee, who has also been gaining work experience at Digicel’s Head Office as an IT Technician. Filia says “it’s been a lot of fun working at Digicel. It’s helped a lot with work experience but, more importantly, it’s also made me more confident that computing and technology is the field that I want to work in”.
Having just completed another stint at Digicel during the university break, Filia and his fellow scholarship students Margaret Sootaga, Lisi Seumanatafa, Johnny Fiu and Fausaga Afaese have been able to work alongside industry professionals, gaining valuable experience and first-hand knowledge of the telecommunications industry. From serving customers in Digicel retail stores, manning the help-line, visiting towers with the technical teams and even getting into the Christmas spirit with the Digicel Choir, the group have had an inside look at what life is like at the international communications and entertainment company.
Digicel CEO Milos Surla acknowledged the success of the scholarship programme, “the future economic success of Samoa is wholly dependent on attracting and developing the brightest minds. We always enjoy having our Digicel scholars in the office, teaching them on-the-job skills and exposing them to the world of telecommunications. We’re also proud to have had Filia as part of the Digi Family and wish him all the best in his next adventure. We look forward to following his academic success and possibly welcoming him back into the fold once his overseas studies are complete”.
Applications for the Digicel Scholarship Program will open again in 2018 for the 2019 Academic year. An announcement will be made closer to the date.
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Digicel Group is a total communications and entertainment provider with operations in 33 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After 15 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network.
Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams, including the Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel sponsors the West Indies cricket team and is also the presenting partner of the Caribbean Premier League. In the Pacific, Digicel is the proud sponsor of several national rugby teams and also sponsors the Vanuatu cricket team.
Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.