The Digicel Foundation Delivers On Its Post-Earthquake Promise To Build 50 Schools In Haiti

The Digicel Haiti Foundation yesterday hosted the official opening of the new College Classique d’Haiti school buildings in Turgeau, Port-au-Prince, making it the last of 50 schools rebuilt as part of the Digicel Foundation’s initial commitment following the devastating earthquake which struck the country on January 12th 2010.
The co-founder of the College Classique d’Haiti, Maitre André Jean, and Founder of the Digicel Foundation and Chairman of Digicel Group, Denis O’Brien, were both present at the opening and together unveiled a plaque to mark the opening. Mr. O’Brien’s mother, Mrs. Iris O’Brien, funded the reconstruction of the College Classique d’Haiti.
Denis O’Brien said; “In the past 18 months, more than 15,000 students and teachers have benefitted from earthquake-safe schools built by the Digicel Foundation. We are going to build even more schools in the next two years than we did in the last two since the earthquake – with 80 new buildings planned for completion by 2014.”
Many of the directors of schools built by the Foundation were present at the inauguration. Mr. O’Brien paid tribute to the staff of the College Classique and all of the schools built by the Digicel Foundation in Haiti, saying; “It is a privilege to support these schools. It is their dedication that is improving the future for Haiti’s children, communities and the country. And because we know that a building is only a starting point, we are also going to support teacher training in all our schools.”
André Jean, Director of the College Classique d’Haïti, said; “Today, December 14th 2011, is a day of celebration for our students. The College Classique d’Haïti was reborn with the support of the Digicel Foundation, and for that we are extremely grateful to them.”
The College Classique d’Haïti was founded in 1962, and has been located on the current site since the 1980s. The primary school has 260 students and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012. The new paraseismic, paraciclonic buildings comprise eight classrooms, an administration block with sanitation as well as new school furniture, also supplied by the Digicel Foundation.
The Digicel Foundation invested a total of US$6 million in its school construction programme, which has seen 50 schools built in 540 days, thanks to the labour and skills of over 2,000 workers.