Celebrities Helping Haiti Make Big Impact
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s been almost two years since a massive earthquake devastated parts of Haiti. While it seems reconstruction efforts have been slow-going, some of those doing what they can to ensure Haiti’s future are celebrities who are making quite an impact.
Super model Petra Nemcova’s Happy Hearts Fund helped build a school for children.
“You could see how magical that kindergarten is, and how magical the children are,” said Nemcova.
The school, which opened in May, helps children regain access to education after a natural disaster.
Nemcova began the Happy Hearts Fund shortly after surviving the Thailand tsunami in 2004.
“We really provide them the oasis, safe haven and a place where a brighter future can sprinkle,” said Nemcova. “What was amazing to see from the first time when the kindergarten opened to now six months later, the children were so much more confident, happy.”
At another new school that has yet to open, there are celebrities’ names outside classrooms. Some of those names include Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Clint Eastwood; all people who have given money.
Nemcova is also encouraging Czech businesses to invest in Haiti, part of her new role as Honorary Consul of Haiti in Prague.
Few have done as much in Haiti as actor Sean Penn.
He manages a camp where he and 50-thousand people live on a muddy piece of land that used to be a nine hole golf course.
Penn recently appeared at an investor conference in Port Au Prince, along with designer Donna Karan. The country’s leaders want to create 500 thousand jobs in Haiti in the next three years.
“In Haiti, because even at you know a fair increase in wage they’re still going to be benefiting from very cheap labor with a very small carbon footprint, very accessible in terms of North America very accessible trading ally that there’s going to be an awful lot of money to be made here,” said Penn.
President Bill Clinton is supporting the progress being made in Haiti, including an improvement to the country’s health care system because people need affordable health care and medical personnel to care for them.
“It will be for decades I think a combination public private system which will offer some opportunities for investors we haven’t had before,” said Mr. Clinton.