[Lexington, KY] – On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic 7.0 Mw earthquake devastated Haiti, and the shock could be felt around the world as nations and individuals banded together to provide aid to the already struggling country. The sentiment among Alltech’s global employees was similar; they were eager to tangibly provide assistance as they had following other natural disasters such as the 2008 earthquake in China and 2004’s Hurricane Katrina and Indian Ocean tsunami. Within 48 hours of the tremors’ cessation, Alltech president Dr. Pearse Lyons found himself in Haiti, assessing ways in which his company could be involved in rebuilding the country.
“At that time we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into, but one thing was certain – we wanted to have hands-on, personal involvement,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “Out of the rubble, we saw a fresh opportunity for Haiti to awaken anew and build a long-term sustainable future. It was out of that vision that the Alltech Sustainable Haiti Project began to take shape.”
To date, the Alltech Sustainable Haiti Project has included:
• The Formation of a Haitian Harmony Children’s Choir – For six years now, Alltech has invested in the University of Kentucky (UK)’s music program, creating what is considered the largest scholastic opera competition in the world with $300,000 in prizes. It seemed natural then to connect Alltech’s work with UK’s music program and the children of a small village called Ouanaminthe in northern Haiti.
Within months of the quake, previous scholarship winners and other UK students began a musical journey in Haiti that would lead to the Haitian Harmony children’s choir performing in the Opening Ceremonies of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and proving to the world that Haiti’s spirit had not been broken.
While in the United States, the children drew attention to the ongoing plight of their home through a variety of concerts and appearances. They also received medical and dental care and met a variety of inspirational figures including Muhammad Ali, Ronan Tynan, Gustavo Dudamel, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Chieftains.
Currently, future trips and concerts for the 24 children in the choir are being considered, but most importantly Alltech is actively seeking a full-time music teacher from Haiti to continue working with the children in the arts.
• Centre Educatif l’Union des Coeurs - Alltech has assumed total financial responsibility for the children’s school in Ouanaminthe, including renovations, maintenance, and salaries. The renovations, expected to be complete in February, include the rebuilding of sanitary restrooms and cooking facilities, a new classroom, the installation of a water system and drainage for rain water, new roofing, and a generator for electricity.
• Alltech Café Citadelle – One of Alltech’s objectives in its Sustainable Haiti Project is to further develop existing Haitian enterprises, and Alltech quickly saw the potential for bringing new life to a Haitian treasure – 100% mountain-grown, fair trade Arabica coffee. Working with RECOCARNO, a union of eight coffee cooperatives in north Haiti, Alltech launched the Alltech Café Citadelle brand. Organically grown and fair trade certified, the coffee beans are hand-picked, ensuring a consistent and flavorful coffee at the peak of its richness.
All proceeds from Alltech Café Citadelle go directly to supporting 900 families or a total of 6,700 individuals in the poverty stricken village of Dondon, located beneath the Citadelle Laferrière fortress which inspired the coffee’s name. Alltech is also working with RECOCARNO on ensuring the long-term growth of their operations through the improvement of facilities and quality control systems.
This fair trade coffee is a cup of hope from Haiti, for Haiti, and is available for purchase at coffeestore.alltech.com, 1-888-636-3302, or at Coffee Times on 2571 Regency Road in Lexington, Ky.
“We are committed to building a sustainable future for the next generation of Haiti,” said Dr. Lyons. “We want to see a rebirth of a stronger nation, beginning with the little villages of Ouanaminthe and Dondon.”
For more information on the Alltech Sustainable Haiti Project, please visit www.alltech.com/haiti.
AlltechFounded by Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech is a global animal health and nutrition company with 30 years’ experience in developing natural products that are scientifically proven to enhance animal health and performance. With more than 2300 employees in 120 countries, the company has developed a strong regional presence in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle-East, Africa and Asia. For further information and downloadable press resources, visit www.alltech.com/press.
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