Clark to address public function for Haiti project

Helen Clark
Helen Clark
Progress on a North Otago project to help the people of Haiti will be outlined at a function in Oamaru on Wednesday, which will also be attended by former prime minister Helen Clark in her role as one of the United Nations' top managers.

Two hundred free tickets have been released for the public to attend the event, organised by Project Hearts and Hands for Haiti (Project HHH), at the Opera House at 7pm.

Miss Clark, as the United Nations Development Programme administrator, has taken an interest in Project HHH, launched to help people of Haiti after the devastating earthquake last year. It has raised funds in North Otago for assistance programmes, sending teams from New Zealand.

Project HHH trustee Bruce Albiston said yesterday the event would outline the work so far and proposed support for an ongoing physiotherapy training programme in Haiti.

As guest speaker, Miss Clark would provide a United Nations perspective on development programmes that provided the best solutions for genuine aid and recovery from disasters around the world.

She offered to come in support of Project HHH fundraising and to recognise the contribution it had made through Oamaru missionary Robyn Couper, who has worked for more than 30 years in Haiti.

A reception by Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton to be held before the main event is virtually a sellout, with more than 150 tickets sold.

Including the medical teams and guests, 180 people were expected, with proceeds going to the physiotherapy project.

"We are also very mindful of the realities of the continuing Christchurch earthquake relief," Mr Albiston said.

"As a gesture, when this public function is focusing on international disaster, all attending are invited to bring a can or packet of food that can be taken to Christchurch." Other donations for Haiti or Christchurch were also welcome.

The Opera House event will have an international programme, with varied local contributions, and is being supported by a wide range of North Otago community organisations.



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