PRF hosts COVID-19 back-to-school initiative with Digicel Foundation
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ST ANDREW, Jamaica — Hundreds of children in Waterhouse, St Andrew, were yesterday given a stylish start for back-to-school with school bags, books and learning materials courtesy of Olympian and Digicel brand ambassador, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce.
The charitable event was special for Shelly-Ann, whose competitive schedule on the global track circuit would usually prevent her from being at home in Jamaica around back-to-school time.
“It has been my dream to do a back-to-school activity for the community but my competitive schedule has never allowed me to be here at this time of the year. However, because of COVID-19, I am in Jamaica,” Shelly Ann told a crowd of excited children and their parents.
“We have had an overwhelming amount of requests for help coming into my foundation. So, although we normally focus on high school students, thanks to Digicel, we can provide book vouchers that I know will go a long way for the families at this time,” she added.
The event was put on by her Pocket Rocket Foundation, the Digicel Foundation and other partners at the Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (SFP) Resource Centre in the community of Waterhouse, St Andrew, where the sprint queen was born and raised.
The centre, now a staple in the community for homework assistance and skills training, was the beneficiary of a $5.7-million upgrade from the Digicel Foundation in 2018. I
n welcoming the continued partnership, CEO of the Digicel Foundation Charmaine Daniels revealed that the organisation had contributed $250,000 worth of book vouchers towards the effort.
She noted that education and community development are key pillars of the foundation’s work, and with the ongoing pandemic and the subsequent financial difficulties faced by many families, more has to be done to ensure that no child is left behind.
“The Pocket Rocket Foundation does so much to benefit young people in the Waterhouse community, so we were delighted to support this back-to-school initiative by providing book vouchers,” she said.