The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Dig­i­cel has won a 2015 Ethicalcorp Re­spon­si­ble Busi­ness Award for its ef­forts to help re­build the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem in Haiti fol­low­ing the coun­try’s dev­as­tat­ing 2010 earth­quake.

The Ethicalcorp Awards recog­nise com­pa­nies that adopt and pro­mote re­spon­si­ble busi­ness prac­tices through­out their or­gan­i­sa­tion, im­prov­ing the lives of their cus­tomers and the com­mu­ni­ties in which they op­er­ate. Dig­i­cel was se­lected as win­ner in the “Most Ef­fec­tive In­ter­na­tional Com­mu­nity In­vest­ment” cat­e­gory from a short­list of eight global com­pa­nies at an awards cer­e­mony in Lon­don on Septem­ber 25th.

Haiti’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem was on the verge of col­lapse as a re­sult of the 2010 earth­quake which de­stroyed 90 per­cent of the coun­try’s in­fra­struc­ture. Through the Dig­i­cel Foun­da­tion, Dig­i­cel kick-started re­con­struc­tion ef­forts by in­creas­ing from 20 to 50 the num­ber of schools it com­mit­ted to build in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. Dig­i­cel fur­ther ex­panded its sup­port by build­ing more per­ma­nent, earth­quake-re­sis­tant build­ings, fund­ing teacher train­ing cour­ses and cre­at­ing jobs through­out lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. To date, the Dig­i­cel Foun­da­tion has in­vested more than US$39 mil­lion in its school-build­ing pro­ject, com­plet­ing 150 schools and cre­at­ing more than 10,500 con­struc­tion jobs and mak­ing it the sin­gle largest school builder in the Caribbean.

Dig­i­cel Group CEO, Colm Delves, said; “Sup­port­ing our com­mu­ni­ties and the needy across the world is a core part of Dig­i­cel’s ethos of giv­ing back and help­ing the less for­tu­nate. It was an easy de­ci­sion for Dig­i­cel to help those who were se­verely af­fected by the 2010 earth­quake in Haiti – es­pe­cially the chil­dren who were at a sig­nif­i­cant disad­van­tage due to the wide­spread de­struc­tion of schools across the coun­try. Win­ning this award is a tes­ta­ment to the hard work and sac­ri­fices made by our col­leagues in Dig­i­cel Haiti and the work of the Dig­i­cel Foun­da­tion. We are happy that these stu­dents now have com­fort­able sur­round­ings in which to learn and grow.”

To­day, more than 50,000 stu­dents in Haiti at­tend schools built by the Dig­i­cel Foun­da­tion. Dig­i­cel con­tin­ues to nur­ture ed­u­ca­tion through­out Haiti with an ad­di­tional in­vest­ment of US$12 mil­lion to fund crit­i­cal teacher train­ing and de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes, all of which help to en­sure Haiti’s young peo­ple en­joy the bright fu­ture they de­serve.

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