Digicel Foundation kicked off its Christmas activities with a visit to two Learning Centres (CLCs) at Ugabega in Vadavada and Mutineo at 9-Mile outside Port Moresby last week.
About 130 children attending these centres received presents from Digicel Foundation with the generous help of Digicel PNG staff volunteers who took some time off work to share the Christmas spirit of giving.
|Digicel Foundation helping thousands throughout PNG|
The celebrations for both CLCs was twofold; celebrating the upcoming festive Christmas season as well as witnessing the graduation of CLC pre-school students who will continue their education at formal elementary and primary schools in the nation’s capital next year.
Digicel Foundation Chief Executive Officer Marina van der Vlies said: “When you see the humble beginnings of our CLC and the strides they have taken to become sustainable, you cannot help but admire their passion, commitment and tenacity to overcome the odds.”
Mutineo CLC was a great role model for other community learning centres to emulate. Digicel Foundation first visited the Mutineo settlement pre-school in July 2009 and was very impressed by the great work being done by the Morobe couple, Tirimo and Gaume Zakemo, and their community helpers.
It was their joint vision that started a pre-school in the settlement of Nine-Mile, Morobe Block. Nine-Mile is one of the largest settlements in Port Moresby but has no basic education services within the settlement to teach the young children to read and write.
It was Tirimo and Gaume who started raising funds to construct a bush material shelter to start their humble little pre-school. Digicel Foundation, in recognising their efforts, their commitment and passion, funded a classroom container in 2009. Since then, the school has grown from 60 to more than 120 children.
Over the last three years, 129 children have graduated into formal elementary school. Many of these children consistently achieve top results in their grades showing that an early start to education is beneficial.
Gaume Zakemo said at the graduation that this was the fourth year of the operation of the school.