CORK businessman Leslie Buckley has been given €500,000 in funding from the European Commission for his Haitian housebuilding charity.
Haven, founded by Mr Buckley, who is on the boards of Aer Lingus and Independent News and Media applied to the EC for funding in conjunction with a local authority in Haiti to help in its work building homes.
The money will be used over two years to help Haven build homes in Haiti, which is one of the poorest countries in the world.
It will also be used to train and up-skill members of the local authority in Haiti and Haven’s beneficiaries.
Mr Buckley said: “This is the best Christmas present we at Haven could have wished for.
“2010 was shaping up to be a difficult year for our new charity, given the impact of the recession here in Ireland.
“But now, thanks to the European Commission, the future for Haven and some of the poorest people in Haiti is a lot brighter,” he added.
More than half of the people living in Haiti are unemployed.
In late October Haven brought 260 people from every county in Ireland to Haiti for a one-week volunteer experience, Build it Week.
In 2010, the charity is seeking 250 volunteers to join it on a Build it Week in April and another 250 people in October.
“I guarantee you a life-changing experience,” said Mr Buckley.
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