The Promise of Haiti II special cocktail reception took place On Friday evening, March 27, 2015 at THE MEDICI GROUP. The Promise of Hati II in NYC to Benefit The Foundation For Knowledge and Liberty raised $7,000. This money allows FOKAL to continue it’s work proactively in Hati, and focus attention around saving Gingerbread houses in Port-Au-Prince.Following cocktails and a spectacular exhibit of art by Master Impressionist Eric Girault, the Master of Ceremonies, Tom Eisenhauer, welcomed guests to kick off the program. Notable awards went to the honorable Scott M. Stringer, New York City Comptroller, as well as Frans Johansson and Sweet Joy Hachuela of The Medici Group. Carra Wallace, Chief Diversity Officer at the Office of New York City accepted the award on behalf of Scott M. Stringer. Myriam Nader-Salomon presented the last award to master impressionist Eric Girault.
This key note address was presented by Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis, President of FOKOL and Former Primer Minister of Hati. Her speech delivered the powerful impact that FOKAL plays on Hati from the past to the present. She stated that FOKAL was not only created to preserve architecture, but to empower the people. She discussed that through their program, they build and reinforce the capacity of the gingerbread houses, yet raise awareness on a democratic level. Toward the end of her speech, she discussed the aftermath of the Hati Earthquake. She said that in times of chaos, we must learn how to find new opportunities, reinvent, and save urban heritage. Her informational yet interesting speech concluded with some slides showing some riveting pictures from The Gingerbread Initiative. This Initiative is for the preservation and rehabilitiation of the Gingerbread district in Port-au-Prince, which was launched by FOKAL and ISPAN (National Institution for the Preservation of historical landmarks under the Haitian Ministry of Culture).
FOKAL’s mission is to promote, support, and reinforce the organizational processes for the development of social, cultural, and communal life in Hati. Projects other than the Gingerbread Initiative have included Access to Information, youth, arts, and education, Martissant Park and Partnerships for Education.
A silent Auction shortly followed including prizes such as US Open Tickets, a coach wallet, and a 4 hour personal organizing session. Key sponsors that made this all possible were The Medici Group, Open Society Foundations, Haiti Cultural Exchange, Nader Haitian Art, RC Blinds, Graffam & Associates, Tribeca Tap House, Moustache Bleue Coffee and Solar Blazze Entertainment.
FOKAL which was created in 1995 stands for Fondation Connaissance et Liberté in French / Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète in Creole/ Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty in English, is a well recognized national foundation supported mainly by Open Society Foundations, OSF, a world wide network of foundations and initiatives created by philanthropist George Soros for the promotion of democratic values.