Honeywell Opening School in Quake-hit Haiti

Technology major Honeywell broke ground on a public school, Ecole Nationale Jacob Martin Henriquez in Jacmel, Haiti. In attendance were Tom Buckmaster, president of Honeywell Hometown Solutions; Richard Walden, president and CEO of Operation USA; Jacmel Mayor Edwin Zenny; and Parliament Senator Joseph Lambert.

Construction of the school, which will serve approximately 600 local students in grades K through seven, is scheduled to be completed by January 2011.

“Six months ago, Honeywell committed to contributing $1 million in aid to the region, including a 100 percent match of employee donations, to fund rebuilding projects in Haiti and we are on target with that promise,” said Tom Buckmaster, president of Honeywell Hometown Solutions, Honeywell’s Corporate Citizenship initiative.

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Honeywell’s investment in the rebuilding project is two-fold. The company is supporting the use of both contemporary and sustainable building methods for the school that can withstand future earthquakes.

In addition, workshops will be held for local builders to encourage their direct involvement in the construction and the longer-term rebuilding efforts in the region.

These workshops will focus on education related to modern building standards and regulations, and environmentally-conscious construction options that can save the region both money and natural resources over time, says the company.

Construction of the new school will also help establish a sense of community and normalcy to the region. A new computer lab will be an integral part of the new site as well as a sustainable community garden and regulation-sized athletic field that will host community sports activities.

In addition to building the school, a scholarship fund has been developed in partnership between Honeywell and Operation USA to help support expenses the students may incur during the school year, including mandatory school uniforms, books and supplies.

Operation USA is an international relief agency that helps communities overcome the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately-funded relief, reconstruction and development aid.

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Rakesh Raman