In what is a remarkable story of the travel retail industries support for the ‘Hand in Hand for Haiti’ educational initiative, the Dubai Duty Free Sports Complex situated on the campus of Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable, in Pont Leocan, near the city of Saint Marc Haiti, was officially inaugurated on May 17th by the President of Haiti, Michel Martelly.
President Martelly was joined by his Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, several member of his government, the French Ambassador to Haiti, Patrick Nicoloso and representatives from the Hand in Hand for Haiti Foundation, along with officials from the Dubai Duty Free Foundation, the Estée Lauder Companies, DFASS, Starboard, Onboard Media and the Moodie Report.
The Dubai Duty Free Sports Complex and Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable were built through donations raised by Hand in Hand for Haiti following the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010. The school opened on 3rd October 2011 with some 153 pupils aged three to five and will ultimately offer education for over 700 pupils.
In February 2012, Dubai Duty Free, which was already a contributor to Hand in Hand for Haiti, announced a major donation of $500,000 from its Foundation towards the construction of the sports complex that will offer Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable pupils, as well as young people of the wider community of Saint Marc, an outstanding sports facility.
Commenting on the official opening of the Dubai Duty Free Sports Complex, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman, said, “Our thanks to the President of Haiti, Michel Martelly for officially inaugurating this fantastic sports complex. Hand in Hand for Haiti has done a tremendous job in driving forward the phased opening of the Lycée and the completion of the Dubai Duty Free Sports Complex in a short space of time in a challenging environment. We are very proud to have been part of this projects which will enrich the lives of young people living here and will encourage their interest in sport. My congratulations to all of those involved in the Hand in Hand for Haiti initiative, especially Olivier Bottrie, Ed Brennan, Benny Klepach and Martin Moodie, who have worked tirelessly in recent years to see these projects come to fruition.”
Today Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable educates 250 children aged three to eight and a further 50 children will join in September when the total of teaching staff will reach 22. The hurricane-proof, anti-seismic, sustainable school will eventually offer entirely free education to over 700 students from pre-school to the baccalaureate. Trilingual education (Creole-French-English) with best-in-class academic standards in alignment with the Haitian academic curriculum is provided.
Students receive two nutritious meals a day and attend daily after-school programs and day camps during the Easter and Summer breaks. The Dubai Duty Free Sports Complex cost a total of $1.5m to build and includes an international regulation soccer pitch with artificial turf, a basketball court, two volleyball courts and a 400-meter six-lane running track. The outstanding sports and leisure facility will also be opened to other schools in the Pont Leocan community – the area surrounding the school.
The Hand in Hand for Haiti project, which has raised several million dollars since the January 2010 earthquake, is the biggest charity fund-raiser in travel retail industry history. Uniquely, the school and Sports Complex is not only being funded by the industry, but operated by it on an ongoing basis through a foundation. The Hand in Hand for Haiti was initiated by Olivier Bottrie, President of Travel Retail Worldwide with the Estee Lauder Companies, Ed Brennan former Chairman and CEO of DFS Group Limited and Martin Moodie, Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.
Through the Dubai Duty Free Foundation, the UAE retailer has been a constant supporter of industry-led Corporate Social Responsibility projects, notably the building of The Travel Retail Village in Palliyawatta, Sri Lanka (post tsunami), The Smile Train project in the Philippines, and the Sightsavers projects in Odisha, India among many others.
For further details, please contact:
Sinead El Sibai
Dubai Duty Free
email [email protected]