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Press Release  
Release Date: Friday, April 4, 2014 4:52 PM
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
202.238.2394
sholnn.freeman@howard.edu
     
http://www.howard.edu/newsroom/      
President of Haiti: Education Frees Us of Ignorance
During first official visit to Howard, President Martelly encourages prosperity through education
 
President Michel Martelly

WASHINGTON (February 6, 2014) -- Haiti's President Michel Martelly spoke about the early success of his new program to provide free primary education to Haitian schoolchildren in an address at Howard University on Feb. 5. Martelly said he planned to build on the initiative by creating new public high schools and teacher-training programs.

Martelly has served as president since May 14, 2011. The establishment of a universal education system for all primary schoolchildren and the repair of schools affected by the devastating earthquake of 2010 were central planks of his campaign. In his remarks, Martelly said Haiti has restored 125 schools and added technology capabilities to many classrooms.

“Education frees us of ignorance,” President Martelly said. “It allows human beings to reach their full potential.”

He also said that he was committed to providing Haitians with access to higher education opportunities, including more partnerships between Howard and some of Haiti’s best schools. He said the partnerships would help both communities prosper.

“African Americans and Haitians are connected by history,” Martelly said. “But we can also be connected by choice -- united in partnership.”

Martelly also spoke about student-exchange programs and ways to provide research fellowships and internship opportunities to train the brightest students from various disciplines to become global leaders. In his remarks, Martelly acknowledged the special relationship between Howard University and his country and highlighted Howard’s service projects. 
 
Howard University Interim President Wayne A.I. Frederick spoke about the importance of Howard projects in recent years. During the summer of 2013, a team from Howard, led by the College of Medicine, traveled to Haiti and provided medical care to nearly 3,000 people in Fort-Liberte and surrounding communities.

“Howard is committed to serving the global community and we have special connection to Haiti,” said Frederick. “Following the devastating earthquake in 2010, our students, faculty and alumni quickly responded by providing health screenings, medications and other aid. Additionally, our medical students, residents and physicians have conducted countless hours of workshops and trainings for Haitian physicians over the past four years.”

The scope of the Haiti medical project expanded greatly last year with the inclusion of students and faculty from the College of Nursing & Allied Health Sciences, the College of Pharmacy and the College of Dentistry.

In addition, 17 students and two faculty advisors traveled to Croix de Bouquets as part of the university’s award-winning Alternative Spring Break Program. They provided health education classes and dental screenings, tutored adults in English and helped establish a community garden in Pétionville. Next month, a number of Howard students will return to the country as part of the University’s Alternative Spring Break program, which is currently in its 20th year.  


ABOUT HOWARD

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at www.howard.edu.


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