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World's first Haiti Week to take place in Ireland

Former US President Bill Clinton made the announcement today and said the fundraising week will take place from 21 – 28 January 2012.

A man rakes trash from the street outside a market on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti
A man rakes trash from the street outside a market on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Image: Dieu Nalio Chery/AP/Press Association Images

IRISH PEOPLE WILL be able to do their bit to raise funds for Haiti thanks to a new initiative that will take place next year.

Former US president Bill Clinton today announced the launch of Haiti Week, an Irish-led global first in support of Haiti, which was stricken by a massive earthquake in 2010 that killed over 230,000 people.

Haiti Week is the brainchild of Irish businessmen Leslie Buckley, Michael Carey and Ian Hyland, and will take place in Ireland from 21- 28January  2012.

The aim of Haiti Week is to promote awareness of and raise vital funds for the Caribbean country.

It plans to do this through showcasing the stories, plans and output of its people through the Haitian arts, music and business communities.

Clinton launched Haiti Week in front of 300 people in the Four Seasons Hotel this morning.

He praised the special influence that Ireland and the Irish people are having on the reconstruction of Haiti and highlighted “how Irish Government support allied to the work of Irish NGOs, social and business leaders, all backed by an army of over 1,000 Irish volunteers, has made Ireland one of the leading nations globally in the recovery and development of a country that has twice the population of Ireland but in an area roughly the size of Munster”.

Haiti Week will feature a number of designated events throughout Ireland and be supported by a website and social media campaign.

The first ever Haiti Week will culminate with the Haiti Ball, in the Four Seasons Hotel on January 27 2012 where the recipient of the inaugural William Jefferson Clinton Goodwill for Haiti Award will be announced.

According to Leslie Buckley, the first ever Haiti Week will coincide with the second anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake.

We want to highlight all that is amazing about Haiti and point to this proud country’s plans for a better future while also reminding people of the ongoing struggles the Haitian people are facing on a daily basis.
There are still 595,000 people living in tents and under tarpaulins; there is a constant fear of cholera which has affected over 400,000 and killed 6,000 people to date; and nearly half a million Haitian children are currently without a school to go to.
Despite all these obstacles, I’m extremely proud to be part of an Irish community that is working to support new ideas and sustainable initiatives to help the people of Haiti.

For more information on Haiti week visit www.haitiweek.org

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