This was exactly what the Digicel PNG Foundation did with the Employee volunteers of Digicel who visited the Reaper Community Learning Centre (CLC) at the Morata 4 settlement and Saraga CLC Six-Mile.
As part of its Community Learning Centre sustainability program, Digicel Foundation along with its volunteers visited two of the 21 informal schools in its program, to give students a gift each and thank them for their perseverance throughout the year.
Digicel teams also visited Glynn Centre, Mercy Care and Rob and Jan based in Erima and CLCs in the Central Provincial villages of Gomore, Sinaugor and Gabagaba in Rigo and Rovarova and Pelegai in Aroma.
The Foundation said: “Many a times, these children do not receive any gifts during the year, and the gift presented to them is the only gift they have ever received.
“The Digicel employees who joined us befriend a child and the two have some time to connect and share their stories.”
Foundation Chief Operations Officer, Adi Anaseini Vesikula, said: “Many children in marginalised urban communities do not have good role models to look up to, and the end-of-year visits by Digicel staff help to inspire the children to make something of their lives.”
CLC sustainability is a bridging program for young children in socially marginalised communities to enter the education system with basic literacy and numeracy skills.
“When the children from these CLCs graduate and enter the mainstream formal schools, they skip up to 3 grades or at lease are in the top 10 of their class if they remain. This is testament of the work that is done by the teachers through the support of Digicel Foundation. Our approach to development is a hand-up one and not a hand-out.”
Established in October 2008, Digicel PNG Foundation has directly invested K87 million in rural, remote and socially marginalised communities across all 22 provinces, directly impacting over 814,000 people.
(Digicel Customer Care staff sharing the spirit of Christmas with Gabagaba children)