Sports

Digicel Foundation gives $12.5m to special needs organisations

BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Observer writer

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

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Just two days after the staging of their annual 5K run/walk, the Digicel Foundation gave $12.5 million to five special needs organisations, at their headquarters in downtown Kingston on Monday.

The Digicel 5K for Special Needs attracted over 10,000 participants, despite the inclement weather that affected the island all of last week. Digicel Chairman Denis O'Brien, who is also the Digicel Foundation's patron, made the presentations.

The organisations receiving the awards were Community-Based Rehabilitation Jamaica; Step Centre; Early Stimulation Plus; Best Care Foundation; and Jamaica Visually Impaired Cricket Association. The Digicel chairman hailed the special needs community on the island.

“The special needs sector has always been dear to our hearts here at Digicel. We are proud to be associated with such wonderful organisations and organisations that are run by volunteers and professionals; as well as the difference that they are making to the whole special needs sector here in Jamaica is absolutely immense.”

O'Brien also thanked the race participants who turned up for the event in spite of the rains that resulted from weather conditions which have affected the island in recent weeks.

“I want to thank the 10,000 runners who braved the elements over the weekend to run in such a great event.” He also called on corporate Jamaica to give more support to the special needs community.

“I think it's very important for corporate Jamaica to play a role in the special needs community.” Digicel Foundation Chairperson Jean Lowrie-Chin explained the role and function of the foundation.

“Our primary focus is special needs, but we also work on community development and education. “Many of our special needs organisations are also very productive such as the Salvation Army and the School for the Deaf.”

Public relations officer for the Jamaica Blind and Visually Impaired Cricket Association, Jason Ricketts says the funds they are about to receive from the Digicel Foundation will lead to significant growth in the sport across the island.

“The funds will help 100 per cent, as we have wanted for many years an injection of cash to the extent that we are getting from the Digicel Foundation — and over the next three years it will help to increase the number of blind cricketers across the island, specifically identifying players and working from the grass-roots up.”


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