|Haven Ambassador and rugby international Paul O’Connell |
and Haven co-founder Leslie Buckley, with Sister Patricia
Dillon Sister Jacqueline Picard, at the fifth annual Haiti Ball to
celebrate Haiti Week. Photo: Fergal Phillips.
Irish rugby legend Paul O’Connell attended the fifth Annual Haiti Ball in Dublin tonight where two inspiring women were presented with a prestigious award.
The sports star, who is an ambassador for the Haven charity, was at the Intercontinental Hotel, Dublin to celebrate Haiti Week, which has raised vital funds to help the people of Haiti.
Haven, the leading Irish charity working on the ground in Haiti, hosted the ball.
The prestigious William Jefferson Clinton Goodwill for Haiti Award was presented to Sister Jacqueline Picard and Sister Patricia Dillon.
Sr. Patricia Dillon, an American native, has been serving in Gros Morne since 1998.
She came to Haiti with a background as an educator and a community organiser, and works with local leaders and co-ordinates any development project that would help improve the lives of the Haitian people.
Sr. Jacqueline Picard, also an American native, has been working tirelessly in Gros Morne for the past 18 years.
A registered nurse, Sr. Jackie has worked with Alma Mater Hospital for the past 14 years, and managed a program for malnourished children.
Leslie Buckley, Haven Founder and Chairman said: “The award recipients, Sister Jackie and Sister Pat, have dedicated their lives to the people of Haiti and we are delighted to have them here to collect their award.”
“Haiti Week is an opportunity for Ireland to celebrate the rich and vibrant culture of Haiti while also raising vital funds for Haven’s work on the ground in Haiti.”
“Thanks to the wonderful assistance of our donors and supporters since the launch of Haiti Week almost five years ago, Haven’s long term Sustainable Development Programmes in Haiti continues to provide access to; clean water, safe and structurally secure shelter and opportunities to participate in Income Generation Workshops,” he said.
Meanwhile, Paul O’Connell said “I am delighted to be here tonight to support the work Haven is doing in Haiti.”
“Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world with over a quarter of its population living on less that €1.50 a day. It is incredible to think that over 10 million people live in Haiti yet it practically the same size as Munster.”
Haven has amalgamated with Soul of Haiti, an Irish charity established by a group of business people to apply their entrepreneurial skills and resources to create a positive impact on the lives of the people of Haiti.
Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Haven has provided permanent shelter for over 19,800 people, and training for over 60,000 people in areas such as hygiene promotion, adult literacy and financial management, as well as skills- training in sewing and boat building.