ARLINGTON, VA –International Relief and Development (IRD) Slovenia andSlovenian Global Action (SLOGA) have recently completed the first phase inestablishing a child-friendly space in the village of Carrefour, Haiti. The spacewill provide Haitian children, many displaced and traumatized by the devastatingJanuary 2010 earthquake, a safe environment to play, learn, and receive basicnecessities.“Youth hold the key to any nation’s future,” said Dr. Arthur B. Keys, Jr.,President and CEO of IRD. “This project is bringing a sense of hope andnormality to nearly 300 boys and girls in Carrefour, who with continued supportand care will be well equipped to play an important role in rebuilding theircountry.”The first phase of the project involved assembling 24 prefabricated structures,provided by Slovenian company TIMRO. In the next phase of the project, localresidents will be recruited and trained to run youth centers at these locations.These local managers will then work with local government and developmentpartners to plan and implement appropriate educational activities, which canrange from basic literacy to entrepreneurship and civic engagement. The goal isto give young people an opportunity to expand their knowledge and acquire theskills and motivation needed to help develop their own communities. This type of community-led development will lead to sustainable, long-term growth forCarrefour and Haiti.This project is funded by the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs andimplemented in partnership with Adventist Development and Relief Agency(ADRA) and the local Haitian government. It is expected to be fully completelater this year.Even as events this week in Slovenia will celebrate the completion of phase oneof the project, IRD Slovenia, SLOGA, and the government of Slovenia arealready discussing next steps and how best to continue supporting the people of Haiti as they rebuild and redevelop their country.