Interview: Jean Robin, projects managing director of Fidesco

The Safran group is sponsoring a special concert given by the Orchestre de l'Alliance on Monday, March 22 in the Salle Gaveau concert hall in Paris. All receipts from the concert, dubbed “Fidesco Urgence Haiti” and part of the Seasons of Solidarity series, will go to Fidesco, a non-governmental organization (NGO), to help build a school in Haiti.

The international NGO Fidesco has been working in Haiti for 12 years. What does this entail?
Fidesco was created in 1981 and is certified by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We dispatch volunteers – now numbering 180 in 35 countries – who contribute their professional skills to development projects or humanitarian actions. Fidesco itself also manages about a dozen projects worldwide, including clinics and training centers. All of our volunteers in Haiti – a family with three children and two young women – are safe and in good health, and we were able to repatriate them.

How does Fidesco plan to provide aid to Haitians?
The people in this country face a dramatic situation: half of the homes in the capital were destroyed, and half of those still standing may collapse at any minute. Experts believe that it will take Haiti ten years to return to its development index before the earthquake, and this figure was already one of the lowest in the world. The day after the earthquake, Fidesco organized a camp for 200 persons in Croix-du-Bouquet, a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. Our current project, coordinated by our Haitian partners, is to build a school for 500 youngsters. It will eventually provide jobs for about 30 people.

What does Safran's support mean for Fidesco?
Today, nearly 200 French companies large and small support our organization. Their aid, along with that of the government and regular donations from about 13,000 people, are indispensable. We especially appreciate the support of Safran, which has carried out three actions in the last year, especially for the "Le Rocher" association, originally founded by Fidesco, which now works in six difficult suburbs in France, as well as for a training, integration and educational support center that we created in Salvador de Bahia in Brazil. At Fidesco, we count on this type of sustained partnership, which functions through various channels, including skills transfers.

For further information on this organization, see: www.fidesco.fr

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