SOURCE: Digicel Haiti Foundation

March 12, 2008 08:30 ET

Digicel Haiti Foundation Delivers Promise of 20 Schools in Year One

Founder and Chairman of Digicel Group Marks Anniversary by Officially Opening a Primary School for 300 Children in Cité Soleil

PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI--(Marketwire - March 12, 2008) - The Digicel Haiti Foundation today announced that it celebrated its one year anniversary with the achievement of delivering on a promise to build 20 primary schools in its first 12 months of operation, two in each district of Haiti. The primary schools, which are completely furnished and staffed with trained teachers, will provide more than 7,000 Haitian children with an education to help them prepare for a better life.

Furthermore, the Foundation is ensuring that the schools will be sustained over the next three years through a network of strategic community partnerships, which include partnerships with the Ministry of National Education and individual NGOs.

Denis O'Brien, patron of the Digicel Haiti Foundation and Chairman of Digicel Group, visited the poverty stricken neighborhood of Cité Soleil to officially open the Ecole St. Patrick primary school. The Foundation will continue to dedicate itself to the development of Education in Haiti.

"The building of the 20 primary schools we hope will have a tremendous role in uplifting community spirit and inspiring new hope for children who are ultimately the future of Haiti. The Digicel Haiti Foundation is determined to make a difference and play a positive role in people's lives and this is our way of saying 'Thank You' for the incredible warm welcome and support we have received from the people of Haiti," said Denis O'Brien.

The Digicel Haiti Foundation has worked with the Ministry for National Education and a number of NGOs to implement a food program, which provides each child with hot daily meals and a teacher training program to ensure each child has access to a quality education.

Partner NGOs include Food for the Poor, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), World Vision, USAID, the World Food Program, the Catholic Mission, Crose (Coordination Regionale des Organisation du Sud East), Concern and the French NGO Initiative Developement (ID).

"Partnerships are a key contributor to the success and sustainability of the Digicel Haiti Foundation. As we continue to grow in Haiti so will our ties to our communities, which will foster even stronger and more effective partnerships," added Denis O'Brien.

Denis O'Brien also commended CEO of the Digicel Haiti Foundation Josefa Gauthier for her strong leadership, passion and commitment to ensuring the goal of building 20 primary schools was met within the Foundation's first year.

According to Josefa Gauthier, "When we were first given the task of building 20 primary schools in one year we knew that there would be major challenges to overcome as we were working in the most disadvantaged and isolated areas of the country. However, the warm welcome of the communities, the joy of the children and the light of hope in their eyes helped us overcome any obstacles. We have achieved a lot in one year but there is even more to achieve as we help to build a better Haiti."

The Digicel Haiti Foundation was established in March 2007, just ten months following the successful launch of Digicel in Haiti in May 2006.

Digicel Haiti recorded a milestone of 1.8 million customers in September 2007 and directly employs 650 staff members. Digicel Haiti has invested more than US$260 million in Haiti, representing the largest ever corporate investment made by an international company.

For more information on the Digicel Haiti Foundation, please visit


Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the fastest growing wireless telecommunications operator in the Caribbean. After seven years, Digicel is renowned for competitive rates, unbeatable coverage, superior customer care, a wide variety of products and services, and state-of-the-art handsets. It is the largest GSM operator in the region.

By offering innovative wireless services and community support, Digicel has become a leading brand in the Caribbean and has placed the region at the cutting edge of wireless communications.

Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and has operations in twenty three markets including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Curaçao, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks & Caicos. Digicel also has a license in the British Virgin Islands and coverage in St. Martin and St. Barths.

The company is the lead sponsor of Caribbean sports teams including the West Indies Cricket Team, Special Olympics teams across the Caribbean and is title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Football Union Cup, which involves over 30 Caribbean countries and is an important qualifier towards the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Visit for more information on Digicel.

Contact Information