Siméus delivers keynote speeches to raise money for Haiti
The founder of Organisation Sové Lavi (Saving Lives), Dumas M. Siméus, was a keynote speaker at two prominent benefits whose proceeds will support benevolent work in Haiti
“I was honored to have helped these significant causes and will continue to provide my services to help other benevolent organizations in Haiti in the future,” Siméus said.
On November 3, 2006, Siméus spoke in New York City at the Inaugural Gala for Center of Hope (Haiti), a Connecticut not-for-profit corporation that raised money to support the construction of an orphanage in Hinche, Haiti. Upwards of 400 people attended this event that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the orphanage. The Center gave its first Hope Award to Emmanuel St. Juste, its founder. Mr. St. Juste, in turn, presented a Hope Award to Mr. C. Robert Henrikson, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of MetLife, Inc.
Mr. James Lipscomb, the organizer of the event and a member of the Advisory Board of Center of Hope, said in a letter to Siméus,
“On behalf of the Center of Hope (Haiti), Inc., I want to thank you for participating in our Inaugural Gala. The feedback on the evening has been very positive. Your presence and your remarks seemed to be top of mind for everyone I spoke to. Your message was right on target and brought many in the audience to tears. The standing ovation at the end was a fitting tribute to your personal testimony.”
The second benefit in November at which Siméus spoke was The Chiapas Project, a non-profit organization that supports microfinancing in Mexico and Latin America. Lucy Billingsley, a prominent real estate executive, and philanthropist founded the Chiapas Project.
This Dallas, Texas, event raised financial support for the micro-finance institutions that are part of the Grameen system, whose founder, Muhammad Yunus, recently won the Nobel Peace Prize. Part of the proceeds will support the leading micro-finance institution in Haiti, FONKOZE, and the benefit honored one of its amazing founders, Anne Hastings.
Siméus spoke about how the concept of micro-finance (the micro-finance term was not invented at the time) changed the lives of his parents and family and made it possible for him and his siblings to go to school and, eventually, immigrate to the United States. His mother, who never had the opportunity to go to school, was an open market vendor who was a co-founder of a solidarity group of 10 women who pulled their resources together, formed an informal bank and loaned each other money.
This event was attended by over 350 people and raised significant dollars to help the poor, who live on less than $2 a day, to pull themselves out of poverty by lending them small amounts of money through the micro-finance banks. Approximately 80% of all micro-credit loans are provided to women with a payback rate of 98%. Siméus is now on the Advisory Board of The Chiapas Project.
To learn more about these benevolent organizations that support Haiti and make a contribution to help eliminate poverty, please visit:
Center for Hope (Haiti), Inc at www.centerofhope-haiti.org
The Chiapas Project at www.chiapas-project.org
And Organisation Sové Lavi at sovelavi.org