Digicel Foundation launches major $42-million Operation SAFE effort New push to sanitise, advocate, feed


Digicel Foundation launches major $42-million Operation SAFE effort New push to sanitise, advocate, feed

Sunday, May 24, 2020

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Digicel Foundation has announced a significant investment in Jamaica's response to the COVID-19 crisis with the launch of its $42-million islandwide humanitarian project dubbed Operation SAFE – focused on sanitising, advocating, feeding, and enabling Jamaicans in the fight against COVID-19.

Chief executive officer of Digicel Foundation, Charmaine Daniels highlighted that Operation SAFE forms a key pillar of the foundation's new strategy to deliver greater impact to those most in need in society.

She commented, “This is a major step forward in the foundation's determination to support the growing number of vulnerable persons in our society who have been displaced by the ongoing crisis and could do with some much-needed help during this time.”

Sanitisation for Labour Day and beyond

With safety and sanitisation a top priority, Digicel Foundation will team up with Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) to carry out a deep-cleaning exercise at Coronation Market in west Kingston. The iconic location benefited from a $100-million rehabilitation in 2010, courtesy of Digicel Foundation.

The foundation has already distributed hand sanitisers and disinfectant to Jamaica's 13 infirmaries, and donated $500,000 towards feeding wards of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency. Phone credit and data plans were also gifted to the foundation's special needs partners, farmers and students across the island.

Advocating for all

The foundation is also helping to promote social distancing by helping local farmers establish delivery networks in order to reach consumers who are unable to go to markets as a result of the current restrictions.

At the same time, a series of public service announcements aimed at promoting social distancing and the benefits of improved personal hygiene methods will be launched shortly. This, in addition to the foundation's continued focus on supporting Jamaica's special needs communities through an online series highlighting the needs of these groups.

Feeding those in need

From its overall investment, $20 million in food and household items has been dedicated to feeding those in need. The foundation, along with volunteers from Digicel Jamaica, has started to distribute of food packages to community groups across the island.

Enabling access

At a time when restrictions have been put in place to protect us from COVID-19, access to resources is more important than ever. For the special needs community, it is especially important to ensure no one is left behind in the wake of this pandemic. For this reason, the foundation has donated 1,000 tablets to the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, towards providing access to online education tools through the use of tablets and mobile data by children with special needs. Each tablet is SIM-enabled and will all have one month of free data.

Chairperson of Digicel Foundation, Jean Lowrie-Chin thanked patron Denis O'Brien and the team for the work done so far to support Operation SAFE.

“We are heartened by the gratitude expressed by citizens far and wide for the assistance they have received. We applaud our hard-working Digicel Foundation team members and volunteers from Digicel Jamaica for their energetic participation,” Lowrie-Chin stated.

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