VANCOUVER, March 5 /CNW/ - To help children and teenagers in Haiti rebuild after the devastating earthquake there on January 12, a $300,000 CAD donation has been made to UNICEF to commemorate the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce and to serve as a lasting legacy of Canada's Games.
The donation, announced today, will provide an opportunity for the children of Haiti to once again play in good health and freedom. The donation is made possible by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), as well as explore.org and the Annenberg Foundation, l'Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and Teck Resources, an Official Supporter of the 2010 Winter Games and the metals supplier for the Vancouver 2010 medals.
"When a tragic situation occurs, such as the earthquake in Haiti, it is incumbent on all of us to come together as global citizens to assist," said VANOC CEO John Furlong. "Sport has the power to unite and heal, especially among children, which is why we're working with our partners through UNICEF. We encourage everyone in the world who watched the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games to continue to support Haiti as it works to rebuild."
Under the auspices of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce, the $300,000.00 donation has been sent to UNICEF, the lead international organization responsible for relief and assistance to youth in Haiti. Over the past few weeks, various organizations have collectively pooled their funding to create a greater overall contribution, including: the Annenberg Foundation ($50,000) through the multimedia organization explore.org; Teck Resources and its employees ($156,000); l'Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) ($45,000); and VANOC (approximately $54,000).
VANOC's contribution was raised in part by workforce members and the public at events such as the Olympic Torch Relay celebration in Vancouver and the opening night of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, as well as from the corporate Vancouver2010 Olympic truce budget. Other sponsors have also made separate, considerable donations towards relief efforts in Haiti.
"In the spirit of the Olympic Games, which embraces camaraderie and teamwork, Teck Resources is pleased to be able to provide assistance to the people of Haiti so that they may rebuild their country and create a better tomorrow," said Don Lindsay, CEO of Teck Resources.
Charles Annenberg Weingarten, explore.org founder and vice president and director of the Annenberg Foundation, added: "In line with explore.org's philanthropic mission to provide grant funding to exceptional organizations, a $50,000 grant was pledged to UNICEF in support of the Olympic Truce and Haitian relief efforts. Explore.org shares the values of inclusion, tolerance and respect, using film and photography from around the world to highlight and inspire the selfless acts of others."
"The OIF would like to demonstrate a solidarity with Haïti and its youth," said Audrey Delacroix, spokesperson for the OIF. "In addition to this financial contribution, the OIF will be also be at the disposal of the Haïtian authorities should they wish to use our expertise in any way."
The OIF was represented in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games by Pascal Couchepin, Grand Témoin de la Francophonie. Couchepin was tasked in 2009 by Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), with supporting VANOC's efforts to ensure bilingual Games in Vancouver and Whistler.
The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce legacy donation is in addition to a commitment made by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge on the eve of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games that the Olympic Movement would be supporting reconstruction of sport facilities for Haitian youth.
About the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce
The philosophy of the Olympic Truce is simple: sport can inspire peace. In 2010, athletes will set aside their political, religious and social differences and compete on a level playing field in the pursuit of excellence. Their sportsmanship and behaviour are examples of how countries and individuals can find constructive ways to uphold the values of respect and friendship.
The 2010 Winter Games mark the first time Canada has been responsible for leading Olympic Truce efforts since the ancient tradition, dating back to 776 BC in Greece, was revitalized in 1992. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, is patron of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce. For more information, visit www.olympictruce.org.
About Teck Resources Limited
Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, metallurgical coal, zinc and energy. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols TCK.A and TCK.B and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TCK. Further information about Teck can be found at www.teck.com/vancouver2010.
Explore.org is a multimedia organization that documents leaders around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. Both educational and inspirational, explore.org creates a portal into the soul of humanity by championing the selfless acts of others. Founded on the principles of the film style cinema vérité, explore.org anchors its content in unbiased realism. www.explore.org
About l'Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF)
L'Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, created in 1970, represents one of the biggest linguistic zones in the world. Its members share more than just a common language. They also share the humanist values promoted by the French language. The French language and its humanist values represent the two cornerstones on which l'Organisation internationale de la Francophonie is based. Its mission is to embody the active solidarity between its 70 member states and governments. For more information, visit www.francophonie.org.
VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games were staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.
SOURCE VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES
For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: VANOC Communications: Tel: (604) 403-1611, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; explore.org: Liz Marks, email@example.com, (310) 209-4577; Teck: Kate Best, Tel: (604) 862-2280, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Organisation internationale de la Francophonie: Anissa Barrak, head of communications, email@example.com; Nathalie Heneman, officer in charge of media relations, Tel. (+33) 1 44 37 32 52, firstname.lastname@example.org