A Truly Haitian Hero
US cable news channel CNN have this week selected Patrice Millet as a ‘CNN hero’. Their CNN hero awards are set up to honour everyday people who are changing the world, unique individuals who have made remarkable achievements for the benefit of others.
Patrice set up the work we support in Haiti, and is a true hero. Five years ago, Patrice was told he was in the advanced stages of a rare bone cancer. The Haitian businessman went through a stem cell transplant procedure in the US and after nine months of treatment, his cancer was in remission.
When Patrice returned to Haiti he was determined use the time he has left to make a difference. He turned all his attention to helping children from the poorest slums in Port au Prince to have a brighter future.
"Every day you see so many kids in need, so many bad stories, tragic stories," said Patrice, "All my life, I wanted to do something good for my country, for the kids. I said, 'This is the time. I have nothing to lose."
Patrice sold his construction supply business and started a project called FONDAPS, which stands for Foundation Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours (Foundation of Our Lady of Perpetual Help). The program uses football to help children stay out of trouble and learn valuable life skills. Patrice calls it "education by sport."
He braved dangerous areas and befriended the locals in some of the worst ghettos of Port au Prince, eventually building up a sports programme for 600 children who are are coached in football, receive free football kits and are given food parcels to take home.
We support this remarkable programme as it helps some of the most vulnerable children in the world. Children in the slums of Haiti endured grinding poverty and were at risk from criminal gangs even before the earthquake hit. After the tremors they were made doubly vulnerable.
The work Patrice is doing is a lifeline. He says; "To see the joy in the face of a kid when you know what he's living through ... that makes me happy. It's so wonderful to see the progress they make in soccer, in their own life, in everything."
Read the full story on CNN and contribute to our work with Patrice.
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