Hard Hats for Haiti

Thursday, September 22, 2011

With the hurricane season at its peak, Haiti faces a seemingly bleak picture: a growing cholera epidemic, over a million earthquake victims still living in unsafe housing, among them children who are due back to school in less than a month. Rather than discourage, this picture highlights the urgency of building Haiti back better.

The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is committed to rebuilding Haiti through a program which benefits hundreds of thousands of Haitians by repairing homes, revitalizing neighborhoods and creating jobs. PADF is employing Haitians to build roads, schools, clinics, and provide clean water. On Thursday September 22, PADF will host the launch event for its Hard Hats for Haiti campaign to raise funds and focus attention on its Rebuilding Haiti program.

Partners such as the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID), the World Bank, Caterpillar and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund have already committed over $50 million to this initiative. To execute this $50 million donation, PADF is required to raise $1 million annually over the next 3 years in matching funds; these funds will be raised through the Hard Hats for Haiti campaign.

The launch event will be co-hosted by the Mayor of the City of Miami, the Honorable Tomas Regalado, and the Consul General for Haiti, the Honorable Ralph Latortue, at The Little Haiti Cultural Center (212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami FL 33137) from 7pm to 9pm. With the 2 year anniversary of the earthquake approaching, PADF Senior Director for the Caribbean, Daniel O’Neil, will report on the status of the rebuilding efforts which benefitted from over $30 million from foundations and corporations in South Florida. This presentation will include a video which will be distributed and time will be allotted after the presentation for a brief question and answer session.

Mr. O’Neil will also elaborate on a new PADF initiative for South Floridians and Haitian Diaspora. This initiative will provide financial and technical resources to small and medium sized businesses in South Florida interested in investing in Haiti.

Based in Washington DC, PADF is a non-profit organization created 50 years ago as an affiliate of the Organization of American States (OAS). PADF recently established a South Florida office in Miami. PADF develops public-private partnerships that assist the least advantaged people in Latin America and the Caribbean. Having worked in every country in the western hemisphere, PADF engages community-based groups, governments and the private sector in the process of implementing appropriate solutions for sustainable development. In 2010, PADF’s programs positively impacted more than 10 million people in 22 countries www.padf.org (www.hardhats4haiti.org).

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