CARACOL, Haiti, March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sae-A Foundation, the philanthropic arm of leading global apparel manufacturer and exporter Sae-A Trading, formally celebrated the opening of its new S&H School in Haiti on Wednesday, March 26, further contributing to the country's post-earthquake reconstruction efforts. The school, down the road from Sae-A's facility in the Caracol Industrial Park in Northern Haiti, provides free, first-class education to 200 Haitian students, with enrollment anticipated to double over the next four years.
The Sae-A Foundation hosted an inauguration ceremony attended by diplomats, government representatives, members of the private sector, non-governmental organizations and Haitian civil society. Attendees at the event included President of Haiti, Michel Martelly; the Ambassador of the United States to Haiti, Pamela White; Chief Representative of Korea International Cooperation Agency's Haiti office, Sae Chul Oh; Sae-A Chairman, Woong-Ki Kim; and representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank, among others.
Many of the students at the new school, which covers grades pre-Kindergarten through nine, are children of current employees at factories located within the Caracol Industrial Park, including S&H Global (Sae-A's Haiti facility). Members of the Caracol-EKAM residential area, including those who moved to Northern Haiti after the earthquake of January 2010, are also attending the S&H School.
"At Sae-A, we make investing in the communities in which we work a priority," said Sae-A Chairman Woong-Ki Kim. "While our business investments create jobs and stimulate markets, we firmly believe that education is critical in ensuring a better life for future generations."
Together with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Sae-A Foundation has raised over 1 million dollars for the school establishment and long-term operations. The Foundation is also working closely with the Government of Haiti and local stakeholders to ensure the school meets all requirements and provides an exceptional education to all of its students.
Currently, the school has a staff of 25, led by principal Jean Mirvil, a Haitian-American who moved back to Haiti after working at schools in New York City. He oversees 11 teachers, a nurse, and support staff. The school has worked with the community to address what have historically been barriers to Haitian education, such as inadequate funding, supply shortages, and lack of qualified teachers.
Those attending the school will learn Haitian Creole, French, and English. The curriculum incorporates the latest technology, and has been designed to contribute to boosting Haiti's competitiveness. Students are provided a free, nutritious meal every day and are encouraged to develop their art skills. Moreover, S&H School's impact on the community goes beyond the class day. It will serve the Caracol-EKAM area by acting as a community center and hosting social events, such as English classes for the students' families.
"We know that it is important in a child's development to engage both the mind and body," said S&H School principal, Jean Mirvil. "We are grateful to Artie Rabin, co-owner of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, for bringing basketball to Caracol with this brand new court at the school. He has standing invitation to come play a game any time."
A ground breaking for the school took place in October 2012 during a trade delegation visit led by President Bill Clinton. Sae-A announced its work on the school as a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment in 2013, which demonstrates the company's devotion to good corporate citizenship.
Sae-A established S&H Global and began manufacturing operations in 2012. As the anchor tenant at the Caracol Industrial Park, S&H Global remains its largest employer having created thousands of jobs at its multiple factories in operation. Sae-A also plans to create thousands more jobs through its continued investment in the Caracol Industrial Park.
In Northern Haiti, where infrastructure is lacking and public transportation is limited, Sae-A is bringing in 22 brand-new commuter buses in June of this year in order to provide workers with a convenient, safe and reliable transportation option for commuting to and from work. Sae-A will support a medical mission to Haiti this year, in collaboration with the College of Nursing at George Washington University from the United States and Pusan National University Hospital from Korea.
For more information on Sae-A's work and social responsibility programs in Haiti, please visit: www.sae-a.com.
About Sae-A Trading Co., Ltd
Established in 1986, Sae-A Trading Co., Ltd is one of the largest apparel manufacturing companies in the world, exporting about 1.4 billion US dollars' worth of apparel from its facilities in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and employing over 50,000 associates at its own and partner facilities.
About Sae-A Trading Global CSR Activity
Sae-A is committed to contributing to the communities in which it operates. With facilities across the globe in Indonesia, Vietnam, Haiti, Nicaragua and others, the company has consistently invested in programs that have a positive impact on the surrounding environments. Sae-A tailors its CSR initiatives to the specific market needs, and has developed internal and external programs that benefit a range of stakeholders. Programs vary in scale and cover areas such as skills-based training, orphanage and child support, and support of the elderly. Key CSR initiatives include:
- Haiti: Sae-A has invested in several CSR initiatives in Haiti. In August of 2012, Sae-A sponsored ateam of 20 medical experts from Chonnam National University Hospital to Haiti, and this team treated over 4,000 patients across several disciplines. Sae-A donated 120 professional, industrial quality sewing machine-table workstations and sewing supplies to the training institutes set up and run by USAID (INDEPCO). Sae-A has also been active in providing relief services. Immediately following the 2010 earthquake, Sae-A donated over 100,000 garments to the Haitian government as part of international relief efforts. Sae-A also provided 12,000 hygiene kits and a 4.5 ton cargo truck for medical supply transportation in the summer of 2011.
- Guatemala: Sae-A Trading chose to focus its efforts on benefiting employees and ran free uterus cancer-screening tests for employees and their spouses. The branch also ran a computer-skills training program for employees.
- Vietnam: Sae-A Trading supports two orphanages in the facility's surrounding neighborhoods. Members of Sae-A's offices visit the orphanages bi-monthly and provide goods to the orphanages on a monthly basis.
- Indonesia: In celebration of Lebaran, a significant national holiday, Sae-A Trading donates aid kits to the surrounding communities, specifically to senior citizens and those living in poverty.