January marks the three-year anniversary of the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti that severely damaged and permanently changed millions of lives on the island. Countless Haitians lost their homes, loved ones and valuables while the effects of the disaster also touched their relatives, friends and so many others around the world.
The impact of the earthquake also displaced tens of thousands of children in the region, a situation which ultimately inspired action from Amadeus’ employees in North America. And as a result, we recently marked another milestone: the opening of the Amadeus House of Hope orphanage in Mirebalais, Haiti. This video tells more of the story:
“Once we heard what happened in Haiti, our employees in North America knew they had to do something to help,” said Vic Pynn, Senior Vice President, Amadeus North America, and executive leader for the project. “From the first day, our employees and travel industry partners have generously dedicated their time, energy, and dollars to help assure these children in Haiti would have a safe and caring home and a brighter future.”
With motivation and drive to aid a brutally damaged community, Amadeus joined forces with the Great Commission Alliance (GCA), which has been involved in sustainable recovery projects in Haiti for over a decade. Focused on such an important cause, employees and friends of Amadeus and GCA successfully raised close to $200,000 to build the orphanage that is designed to shelter and educate up to 100 children, ages 4 to 8.
Amadeus employees and industry partners went to Haiti to volunteer throughout the project. And together with the Mirebalais community, they officially celebrated the opening of the two-story orphanage in October 2012. See photos from the grand opening here. As of opening day, 50 children live in the orphanage and a second floor is planned, which will enable another 50 children to join the facility.
After over two years in the works, it was remarkable to see the opening and to see the looks on the kids’ faces. They now have a home,” said Pynn.
Amadeus believes in giving back including corporate social responsibility efforts which result in positive, sustainable impacts and creating broader change for the future. Many Amadeus employees and partners continue to travel to Haiti and the orphanage to volunteer their time and effort, with many now personally sponsoring the ongoing needs of a child in the orphanage.
To read more about the orphanage, make a donation or sponsor an orphan’s care, click here.