Best Photos Around the World
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
The repaired wall of a once-damaged home.
Repairs to yellow tagged, or moderately damaged, homes are a quick, inexpensive solution to housing.
PADF is repairing moderately damaged homes, so Haitians can move back home.
Homeowner Anne Marie Leonard inspects her house with Ministry of Public Works engineers.
Madame Gustave shows the cracks in her home.
A PADF employee repairs a yellow-tagged house.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
"Over the long run, the answer for Haiti is for each and every Haitian to be able to make a decent living doing something he or she is good at." - President Bill Clinton
Haiti's artisans possess enormous skill and talent. Now, thanks to Clinton Bush Haiti Fund's support for organizations like HAND/EYE, Fairwinds, and Aid to Artisans, these artisans are connecting with high profile designers and stores like Donna Karan, Rachel Roy, Anthropologie, and Macy's. This resurgence of interest in Haiti's vibrant crafts sector highlights the importance of helping Haitians build their own economy, here by tapping into talent and creativity core to Haiti's culture.
Posted by Famous Search at 2:39 AM
Monday, July 2, 2012
Grants reflect investments Haitian businesses need to thrive
WASHINGTON, DC – The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund continues to help Haitians chart their own successful future with nearly $1.5M in new grants to organizations bolstering the Haitian workforce. The three grants, announced today, will promote the training of hospitality workers, entrepreneurs, students, and teachers.
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund today announced a $264,000 grant to the Oasis Foundation to revive l’École Hôtelière Haitienne (the Haiti Hotel School). Destroyed by the earthquake, the school, an institution under Haiti’s Ministry of Tourism, was the only comprehensive hospitality training school of its kind in the country. With this funding, the school can now welcome hospitality students back to complete their training, and matriculate future students passionate about careers in the hospitality industry. Some of the graduates will go on to careers at the Oasis Hotel, and others, with the help of the school, will seek hospitality industry jobs at other businesses throughout Haiti.
“Just as access to jobs is crucial for Haiti’s development, local businesses—especially the many new hotels under construction—must have access to a skilled workforce for sustainable economic growth,” Director of the Oasis Foundation, Mrs. Hildegard Epstein Cassis said. “With this grant, we will be able to provide hospitality workers with the skills essential to building back a better Haiti.”
Earlier this year, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund made a $2M equity investment in the Oasis Hotel, a business-class hotel in Port-au-Prince whose construction was halted after the earthquake. The Oasis Foundation, a nonprofit established by the hotel, is partnering with the Haitian Hotel School and Haiti’s Ministry of Tourism, with additional support from Occidental Hotels and the USAID/Haiti Recovery Initiative, to make the training program possible.
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund made a $914,000 grant to Quisqueya University to help enhance the recently established Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to develop both current and future business leaders of Haiti. The Center will provide a range of business development services. It will offer training for local consultants and analysts, facilitate businesses transitioning from the informal to the formal economy, and provide advanced managerial training. From classroom training to hands-on case studies, the Center will give entrepreneurs the skills necessary for their businesses to succeed.
“Given Quisqueya’s track record, I am confident that this Center will play a key role in improving the business environment in Haiti,” Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s Vice President of Programs and Investments, Paul Altidor said. “The Center will be a destination for business people of all levels. Everyone from aspiring entrepreneurs to senior business executives will have access to an array of resources and training to enable their businesses to thrive.”
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is also strengthening Haitian accountants, managers, and other professionals through improved access to information technology. The Fund’s $285,646 grant to the Haitian for-profit enterprise EducaTech will provide computer equipment, educational resources, and technology training for students and faculty at Haiti’s state university.
EducaTech will establish a digital library at Haiti’s Institute of Management and International Studies (INAGHEI), with computers and programs, digital boards, and electronic databases. Students, faculty, and staff will go through EducaTech’s training program on the use of this software and hardware, and then will go on to train even more students.
The vision of EducaTech is to give all Haitian young people access to books and electronics, and use it to create a competitive and productive workforce that will grow Haiti’s economy. “In Haiti,” EducaTech, co-founder Kesner Pharel explained, “we can live much better through technology.”
Posted by Famous Search at 2:37 AM
Sunday, July 1, 2012
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Almost two years after an earthquake ravaged this city, some half a million people are still living in filthy tents, cholera has infected a similar number across the country and the president works from a flimsy prefab structure behind the still crumpled Presidential Palace.
Denis O’Brien, an impatient Irish billionaire who tends to make his points with a few choice profanities, is determined to change all that.
On a recent sunny morning, he presided over the opening of the 50th school that his vast telecommunications company, Digicel, has rebuilt since the quake struck in 2010 — and then he promptly pledged to build another 80 schools by 2014.
His intention is not, however, to be a one-man force for change. With a skill for what he calls “frying feet,” he has sweet-talked, cajoled, harangued, nagged, strong-armed and shamed government officials, international financiers and business leaders into doing more to rebuild Haiti.
“It’s all about project management,” Mr. O’Brien, 53, said in an interview at Digicel’s offices here. “Everyone’s on hand for the photo op, but where are the 100 houses that were promised after the cameras are gone? I’m the guy who’s going to count them.”
In the process, he has become de facto ambassador for an emerging business-centered approach to the redevelopment of this disaster-prone nation, which has so long relied on the work of nonprofit groups and aid agencies that it is known as the Republic of N.G.O.’s, or nongovernmental organizations.
“We’ve seen the growth of the N.G.O. community here for the last 20 years, and many of them do good work and there is a demand and a need for that work,” said Lionel Delatour, a business consultant and lobbyist whose brothers have served as government ministers. “But N.G.O.’s do not pay taxes, and when they bring their supplies and cars and other goods into the country, they do not pay customs duties.”
Digicel, on the other hand, is the country’s largest employer and taxpayer. The privately held company has invested $600 million in Haiti, making it by far the country’s largest foreign investor ever, and it has democratized communications with its strategy of selling low-price cellphones and services to the masses.
Mr. O’Brien has profited extensively from Haiti, which is Digicel’s largest market and accounts for roughly one-third of its 11.1 million subscribers.
“There is something that is two-way about this relationship,” Mr. Delatour said. “It is not only a story of what Digicel and Mr. O’Brien have done for Haiti, but also what Haiti has done for Digicel and Mr. O’Brien.”
For his part, Mr. O’Brien does not like to hear his work on behalf of the country or Digicel’s largess there described as corporate social responsibility. “If you make money in a poor country, you can’t just take it and disappear,” he said. “It would be bad business.”
Thus, Digicel unveiled plans in November to invest $45 million in a new 173-room hotel next door to its offices, to be run by Marriott. That announcement came at a forum sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank that drew 500 business people from 29 countries.
It was kicked off by a ribbon-cutting at a new industrial park in Caracol whose first tenant will be Sae-A, a Korean apparel manufacturer with extensive experience in Latin America. It is building a plant that plans to employ 20,000 and, unlike the low-wage apparel manufacturing operations that spawned vast urban slums, incorporate housing developments and other infrastructure.
Just last month, Heineken, the Dutch brewing concern, increased to 95 percent from 23 percent its stake in Brasserie Nationale d’Haiti, a Haitian brewery and bottler, saying it saw greater political and economic stability in the country.
Then there are commitments from the 60-odd members of the Haiti Action Network of the Clinton Global Initiative, or C.G.I., which include installing solar panels, increasing energy supplies, refurbishing homes and providing job training.
Mr. O’Brien is charged with overseeing their progress on behalf of former President Bill Clinton, and so after the school opening, he headed to the Hotel Montana to grill the network’s members, as he does 10 times a year.