DIGICEL PNG FOUNDATION CONTINUES ROLLOUT OF CLASSROOMS NATIONWIDE
Highlands’s children to benefit from new educational resources
Thursday August 19th, 2010 – Mt Hagen, PNG: Digicel PNG Foundation continues the rollout of new elementary classrooms nationwide. Yesterday Kiki Foursquare Elementary School, in Kiki village, Western Highlands Province received two new classrooms. They are the eleventh elementary school nationwide to benefit from new infrastructure in PNG.
The two new elementary classrooms were officially launched yesterday at Kiki village, in Western Highlands Province. Hundreds of people from Kiki and the surrounding villages were present to witness this special occasion. The two kit structure classrooms including basic school materials were funded at a total cost of K40,000 and will cater for 50 children between four and ten years of age.
The Kiki Foursquare Elementary School was established in 2006 with three bush material classrooms built by the Kiki community themselves. There are about 6,000 people living around Kiki community and no other elementary school in the area for the children to attend. It is a rapidly growing elementary school which has seen an increase in enrolment from 70 last year to a total of 120 students this year.
Now, for the first time, the children of Kiki will be able to enjoy permanent new classrooms with library books for them to read and extra much needed school resources. Each of the classrooms comes with a library including 150 books each, kindly donated by NGO Hope Worldwide, as well as a school blackboard and slates. All the children were also given a Digicel Foundation school string bag including exercise books and a pencil case with school stationary.
The School Board Chairman, Ps. Tony Siki, said, “This is a huge step forwards for us here in Kiki community. Until today we have always used bush material classrooms built and maintained by the community themselves. Now we have got permanent classrooms for the first time. The children are all very excited and can’t wait to attend classes in these new facilities. This is a great boost for the moral of the teachers and the Kiki community as a whole.”
Marina van der Vlies, CEO of the Digicel Foundation, who was witnessing the launch said: “We too are very excited to be here to open these new elementary classrooms. The Kiki community has shown that they can be self reliant and look after their children’s basic education by providing them with an elementary school. The bush material classrooms here are built and maintained by the community themselves which is no easy task and requires a high level of organization and commitment. We reward those communities that are self reliant by providing them with better resources which will help them develop to become even stronger communities for the future.”
The Digicel Foundation especially recognizes those communities that are active in helping themselves with the little resources they have. The Digicel Foundation’s main focus is to initiate projects that will provide opportunities and inspire a positive and vibrant future for the communities within PNG. The Digicel Foundation believes that as the Digicel company grows, the communities in PNG should grow as well.
To date the Digicel Foundation has funded 38 Community Learning Centres, 12 primary school and 18 elementary school infrastructure projects; four Mobile Health Clinics, four Womens Resource Centre projects and four Family Support Centres. Last month 58 volunteer teachers from Port Moresby settlement communities graduated from a Digicel Foundation funded basic education skills training. The Digicel Foundation plans to continue the funding of community projects in the area of education aiming to support communities as they hopefully become more self-reliant in the future.
About the Digicel PNG Foundation
The Digicel PNG Foundation is a non-profit organisation which was established by Digicel in Papua New Guinea in September 2008. The Digicel Foundation distributes and utilises funds on a charitable basis for the sole purpose of building communities and community spirit in PNG. The Foundation is primarily staffed by employees of Digicel who assist communities through their time, expertise and leadership. The Patron of the Digicel Foundation is Denis O’Brien, the Chairman and Founder of the Digicel Group. The Digicel Foundation is the third Foundation to be established by Digicel, and the first in the Pacific region, following the establishment of the Foundation in Jamaica in 2004 and in Haiti in 2007. In Haiti the Foundation succeeded in building 20 primary schools, throughout the country, within a year providing a huge boost for the quality of the education in the country.
For more information please visit www.digicelpng.com.