Governor Rendell Lauds PA’s Haitian Connection Network
1/14/11 –FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 13, 2011 Governor Rendell Lauds PA’s Haitian Connection Network and PHEELhaiti.org for Efforts to Rebuild Haiti’s Education Infrastructure.
Rendell lends support to PA-based organizations who plan to provide educational opportunities to Haitians, whose educational system is total collapse following quake of a year ago; Unveils documentary in-the-making
Harrisburg, PA—Today, PHEELHaiti and the Haitian Connection Network were joined by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell who supports raising awareness of the organizations’ goals to rebuild Haiti’s desolate education infrastructure. In addition, a clip of a documentary of the issue was previewed at the event.
“We are honored to have the support of Governor Rendell in our efforts not only in that he has always been an advocate for education, but that he also had the opportunity to witness, first-hand, the devastation of last year’s quake in Haiti,” said Ulysse Toussaint, a Haitian native, and co founder of Professionals for Education, Entrepreneurship and Leadership (PHEEL) in Haiti. “One of the primary goals of PHEELHaiti is to rebuild the Apocalypse School, a primary school that was leveled by the quake, and to provide education to the children of Haiti, who currently have almost no access to schooling.” Adds co founder, and sibling, Junie Joachim, “It’s imperative to recognize the need for a place for children, especially girls, to access an education. Right now, the education system is decimated. We intend to provide a solution to the problem.” The PHEELHaiti team is also producing a documentary to raise awareness of the state of the educational system in Haiti.
Kristen Hertzog, Executive Director of the Lancaster, PA based Haitian Connection Network (HNC) echoes the mission of PHEELHaiti and takes it one step further, “We fully support the goals of PHEELHaiti, and in the ten years HNC has been in existence, it’s been our mission to provide higher education to the people of Haiti. In partnership with PHEELHaiti, we want to expand our Higher Education Haiti program by opening another Student Computer Center facility to meet the desire of those in Haiti who have no ability to tap into colleges or universities in their home country.”
Each of the two projects are estimated to cost $75000, in estimates prepared by Haitian contacts.
PHEELHaiti was founded by Ulysse Toussaint and his sister, Junie Joachim; siblings and native Haitians. Both received their college education in Pennsylvania and continue to reside in the Commonwealth. More information about PHEELHaiti, and its documentary can be found at pheelhaiti.org. PHEELHaiti’s 501c3 status is currently pending.
The Haitian Connection Network is a 501c3 whose mission is to help Haitian students obtain university degrees online one of its Student Computer Centers in Haiti, then assist them in finding gainful employment, thus helping themselves, their families, their community and their country. Its Executive Director, Kristen Hertzog and her husband, welcomed the adoption of a Haitian child into their lives in 2009. More information on HCN can be found at haitianconnectionnetwork.org.
Both websites provide means to connect, get involved, and donate time, resources and funding to the initiatives.