Art Auction to H.E.L.P. University Students in Haiti

NEW YORK, N.Y. – On Friday, December 1, art lovers and humanitarians alike will have a clear opportunity to help Haiti, a country with such endemic and intractable troubles that it’s sometimes difficult to know where and how to lend a hand.

At 7:00 that evening, the Haitian Education and Leadership Program (H.E.L.P.) will host its first ever auction of Haitian contemporary and naïf art, featuring works by some of Haiti’s most renowned artists.

All proceeds will go toward scholarship support for Haitian students pursuing higher education in Haiti.

Featured artists include Edouard Duval-Carrié, Mario Benjamin, Gérard Fortuné, and Lionel St. Eloi. A silent auction will take place from 7:00-9:00 pm, followed by a live auction of featured works at 9:00 pm. Images of the works are viewable online at www.haitianeducation.org.

H.E.L.P. was started in 1996 by Conor Bohan when his former student, Isemonde Joseph, asked for $30 to attend secretarial school in spite of her lifelong dream to study medicine. Isemonde became H.E.L.P.’s first scholarship recipient and is now a practicing doctor in Haiti.

H.E.L.P. has since grown into Haiti’s largest university scholarship program and, for the academic year 2006/2007, will sponsor approximately 70 students studying education, medicine, law, engineering, accounting, agronomy, chemistry, computer science and communications. To date, H.E.L.P. graduates have a 100% employment rate at an average starting salary of $6,000 per year, approximately 15 times greater than the average annual salary in Haiti.

Haiti, a country plagued by widespread poverty, destabilization, and a lack of governmental infrastructure, grapples with a nearly 70% unemployment rate. Though the average annual cost of university in Haiti, including textbooks, is just over $1,000, nearly 50% of children in Haiti have no access to education at all, and few can afford to continue their studies past middle or high school.

The event will take place at the offices of Aristeia Capital, 136 Madison Avenue, 3rd floor (between 31st and 32nd Street), NY.

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