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Digicel Foundation donates $5m to beneficiaries

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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FIVE special-needs organisations will be able to better serve their communities, having benefited from $5 million worth of proceeds from the staging of the 2017 Digicel 5K Run/Walk for Special Needs.

The five organisations: Jamaica Autism Support Association, Jamaica Down Syndrome Foundation, Early Stimulation Plus, Jamaican Association on Intellectual Disabilities and Mustard Seed Communities , each received $1 million, a release from the foundation said yesterday.

“The Digicel Foundation's fund-raiser has provided us with a huge boost to our capabilities in raising awareness of intellectual disabilities. We are now also able to provide additional programmes that will help people with intellectual challenges play a more meaningful role in society,” commented Christine Rodriguez, executive director of the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities (JAID).

The funds will go towards JAID's Adult Continuing Educational Programme, Social and Recreational Programme and CHUPSE — an income-generating enterprise led by people with autism and Down syndrome who make and sell handcrafted jewellery.

In welcoming the donation to the Jamaica Down Syndrome Foundation, Founder and Director Dr Charmaine Scott said: “Without this funding we would not be able to carry out administrative support, parent group meetings and the facilitation of early intervention for our children.”

Meanwhile, Chairman of Digicel Foundation Jean Lowrie-Chin is quoted in the release as saying: “We at the Digicel Foundation are inspired by you: The founders, the leaders, the parents and your own special-needs community.

“We see the efforts being made to make your members feel loved and included. That drive and acceptance for the differently abled is so important for our nation,” she said.

The annual Digicel 5K Run/Walk, which first began in 2012, highlights the Digicel Foundation's continued support for the inclusion and acceptance of members of the special-needs community.

Since its inception in 2012, the 5K run has raised over $41 million.

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