Sunday 12 July, 2020

Digicel Foundation assists 60 more special needs children with tablets

(From left) Denis O'Brien, founder and patron of the Digicel Foundation; student Kyle Adamson; executive director of the JCPD, Christine Hendricks; student Jahvar Campbell and Digicel Foundation CEO Charmaine Daniels at the presentation ceremony.

(From left) Denis O'Brien, founder and patron of the Digicel Foundation; student Kyle Adamson; executive director of the JCPD, Christine Hendricks; student Jahvar Campbell and Digicel Foundation CEO Charmaine Daniels at the presentation ceremony.

Digicel Foundation will enable an additional 60 special needs children to access online learning after handing over 50 tablets to the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) and 10 to the STEP Centre.

The presentation was made on Wednesday at the Digicel headquarters in downtown Kingston. It was part of the foundation's ongoing project to assist the island's children with access to online learning as they are kept from physically attending school due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Digicel Foundation has so far spent over US$100,000 (J$14 million) on tablets for special need and needy children, with those donated on Wednesday costing approximately $600,000.

Earlier in June, Digicel Foundation handed over 600 tablets to JCPD, an agency of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, for distribution to disabled students, while another 400 devices were given to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information for distribution to other students in need.


Digicel Jamaica CEO Allison Cole-Philbert points to a feature of the tablets while in discussion with students Jahvar Campbell and Kyle Adamson.

The devices handed over on Wednesday have been fitted with SIM cards by Digicel Jamaica that will have data for the students who receive the tablets, allowing for free internet service for one year and also tracking of the devices for security reasons.

The foundation's founder and patron, Digicel Group chairman Denis O'Brien stressed how important it was for the organisation to assist children during this time.

"Kids these days want to learn from a tablet and their concentration levels are higher when they use the tablet, but also having access to the curriculum and the zero-rated websites provided by Digicel, is very important in their development," O'Brien said.

Executive Director of JCPD, Christine Hendricks, believes the tablets will be of great value to the students, especially because of their circumstances.

"The good thing is that our students with disabilities usually are in the poorer sections of our society, in terms of their socioeconomic situation, and so this gift from Digicel is a tremendous help to support them in their bid to learn like every other child in Jamaica," Hendricks said.

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