NI businesses boost charity’s work in Haiti

Patrick Flaherty (AECOM Chief Executive Europe, India, Africa and Middle East), Leslie Buckley (Haven Chairman), Joe O'Neill (Belfast Harbour CEO), Ronnie Foreman (Haven NI Ambassador).
Patrick Flaherty (AECOM Chief Executive Europe, India, Africa and Middle East), Leslie Buckley (Haven Chairman), Joe O'Neill (Belfast Harbour CEO), Ronnie Foreman (Haven NI Ambassador).

A business breakfast in Belfast has raised more than £23,500 for Irish-based charity Haven which will provide a significant boost to its extensive work in Haiti.

Organised by the Northern Ireland Ambassador for Haven, Ronnie Foreman, the event took place in the Belfast Harbour Commissioners’ offices and attracted around 140 leading figures from local businesses.

The keynote speaker was businessman Leslie Buckley, who founded the charity ten years ago. Other speakers were Patrick Flaherty, Chief Executive Europe, India, Africa and Middle East for AECOM and Joe O’Neill, Chief Executive of Belfast Harbour.

Most of the proceeds from the Belfast event will go towards supporting Haven’s new business development programme, which aims to encourage entrepreneurship and empower the people of Haiti through vocational and business training. Participants will first gain valuable personal development skills, and then receive practical training in areas such as boatbuilding or sewing. They will then take on intensive financial training, developing a business plan and gaining access to microfinance support so that they can launch their own enterprises and build a sustainable livelihoods. Haven aims to empower sixty people to launch their own businesses in 2018.

The Haven Partnership is an Irish-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), strongly committed to empowering the people of Haiti to build sustainable livelihoods and communities. Launched in 2008, Haven works solely in Haiti, focusing on three core development areas: water and sanitation, training and education, and shelter.

Haven’s community development programmes and training courses promote improved health, create employment and enterprise, strengthen education, and eradicate poverty in what remains one of the poorest countries in the world.