Homes of Hope
Por Bibiana Ferraiuoli SuÃ¡rez
Ricky Martin, craftsman of the Project People for Children, went to Thailand to alert about the imminent danger of Child Trafficking
The Foundation Ricky Martin and Habitat for Humanity will construct 224 homes
Two hundred and twenty four homes will give warmth, security and hope to Thailand Families, especially the children that have been left orphans of both or one parent after the devastation tsunami that attacked the Asiatic region this past December 26th.
And that this global dream will be done with the signature of two Puerto Ricans is a cause for celebration. A feeling that will win is that Ricky Martin, President of the Foundation that bears his name and Lisa Torres, spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity, exchanged impressions about the land that will gradually become a block of hundreds of homes.
El Nuevo DÃa was present at an exclusive signing and was the also the only Puerto Rican media to accompany Martin as Ambassador of UNICEF during his humanitarian mission in Thailand in the middle of January. For various days they visited refugee camps, orphanages, and fishing communities in Phuket region located on the literal coast at the south of Bangkok where the oceanic phenomenon recovered some 5,000 persons and left thousands without homes. Among those were left some 300 children survivors who many become victims of the unscrupulous trafficking industry of labor and sexual exploitation that annually makes some $9 billion. It was for this reason that Martin crafted the project People for Children that denounces these bad reasons, adding that this country needs to be alert to the imminent danger of trafficking. And after the visit, he decided that the construction of homes was a deterrent practice that can prevent and provide security for these children.
Conscious of his social responsibility, ENDI teamed with the Foundation Ricky Martin to construct these homes. But also to aid the forces of work in projects in favor of the well-being of children in Puerto Rico. An alliance that will give these youth the semblance of a future of hope.
The importance that ENDI has in this country and in the world is incalculable. To be able to tell with the support of such a respected journal that educates and informs the world about this topic of sexual trafficking, the labor exploitation and projects of good will for the children of Puerto Rico has no priceâ€, said Martin.
In a separate interview, MarÃa Eugenia FerrÃ© Rangel, president of El Nuevo DÃa, said that our country has always been distinguished for its generosity and charisma.
â€œThis initiative of the Ricky Martin Foundation is a very special one and tells of the unconditional support of El Nueve Dia. â€œWhat happened is that some four months ago was the most unimaginable and devastating (disaster), never before seen by our generation. The reality of these people, and about all of the children requires that we look at it with the eyes of the heart. We are looking to ally the corporate sector that is uniting to respond to this call of Humanitarian Aid to our brothers of Thailand. WE are exhorting our business colleagues to be part of this marvelous project of solidarity and hope, as will future initiatives of the Ricky Martin Foundation,â€ emphasized the President. To have sources is precisely the priority of Martin in his humanitarian effort and to see the mesh in action is his gratification. The contract that he is signing is synonymous with happiness for him. â€œSome 90 days ago that we were working in Thailand. They have already cleared the land. There are many volunteers mixing cement, bringing materials and they have already bought various houses with titles to the property.â€ said Martin. The act here shown spread overt the table are photographs of the various plans for the houses. It is that of a woman with palms united in thanks for the work of the laborers.
Among those, Angel Saltos, Executive Director of the Ricky Martin Foundation explained that they selected Habitat for Humanity for their â€˜long history (29 years, each 26 minutes they build a house in someplace in the world and work in more than 100 countries), prestigious and transparent in their processes of building lives of the less fortunate populations.â€
Habitat for Humanity builds solid houses with their professionally trained engineers and band of volunteers and those future dreams of residences who lead the efforts with the support of the community. With these 224 homes, habitat is giving priority in the selection of children that are left orphaned of both parents or of one in order to complete the objectives of the Foundation.
It is historicâ€, said Torres.
Torres and Saltos also said that this meeting was possible thanks to a third member who wasnâ€™t present during the contract signing, the Thailand Governor that provided the land for the construction of these homes in Phan Nga, one of the fishing provinces of Phuket. This meeting is emotional for us, because Ricky represents a new generation of donors, a young Latin, Puerto Rican. He is the first Puerto Rican who had done so much of such renown, and as a Puerto Rican I am very proud.
The Director of Large Donations for Habitat noted that this weekend the former President, Jimmy Carter, will complete the contract. As well as Martin, Habitat tells of other stars like Paul Newman, Julia Stiles, and Reba McEntire among their spokespersons.
The goal, commented Martin, is to finish the houses in 2007, but he is hoping to return to Phang Nga in a year to bring the keys to the families as well as to help with the construction of the houses. The singer said, also that Habitat for Humanity has a presence in Puerto Rico. Specifically in Cantera there they have built 13 houses.
Martin said that little by little the Foundation will continue weaving nets. â€œWe have known persons that are doing work for the children and we want to reinforce them in some economic way, the work that they have been doing for years in Puerto Rico, for example for mistreated children.â€.
Some 58% of the children live under poverty conditions
I think that it is a lack of education that is the root of many problems. Of the e spare time is the worst of vices.
â€œFour walls is the security of a home, a good program of activities, and after school it permits them to know a new world, to better their self-esteem and the expectations of life.â€ .
As respects to sex trafficking on the Island, Martin said that the majority of the cases are of childe pornography on the internet. And that due to the nature of this media it is difficult to restrain those at fault. â€œ:T speak of this topic is very shameful to the children. Many times they donâ€™t understand what is happening or that what is happening is badâ€¦even though today children of 8 years age that know more than children at school and think that with these guys they can buy themselves tennis shoes and a bikeâ€¦I repeat, They are not selling drugs or trafficking arms as that is bad. We return to education that must be done to forge alliances that will better their self-esteemâ€.
As Puerto Ricans, Martin recognizes also that we are very proud of our roots. â€œWe are so proud of our beaches, El Yunque(The Rainforest), to have beauty queens, to have so much beauty, the musicâ€¦well we are the most happy country in the world (according to a study done in Holland) because we are always making a party, because we take on our problems with a smile, we make music over any controversy...
But you have to internalize everything and take it to another stage with the same pride in social commitmentsâ€.
At his 33 years, he confessed that doing this humanitarian work is a personal necessity. â€œIt is something that is within me from when I began to work because the group that I belonged to (Menudo) did a lot of philanthropic work and one feels good about oneself.
I donâ€™t do it to be an example, but I hope that I can inspire a lot of youths and colleagues that are artists so that they can educate and they can see us doing work for their fellow man, education and supporting some project.
One feels very good, after all it is personal satisfaction and you observe a change and think that you had to see with this. It is something that is born in you. There are so many people that have so many problems of their own to resolve that donâ€™t have time for others and it is validâ€¦I insist that I donâ€™t do it for the example, if not because I enjoy itâ€¦I believe in something and I am going to do itâ€¦
I t has to be like this in the philanthropic world, in your studies, in the family, in the spiritual development, in life,â€œ he observed. He names his parents and his grandmother, who was a Professor at the University of Puerto Rico, as a role model.
The journey to Thailand and the signing of the agreement among his Puerto Rican brothers, a net between countries. An achievement that traces his own path of humanitarian evolution.
The new CD of Ricky Martin
Well you could say that the musical phenomenon Menudo influenced the humanitarian sensibilities of Ricky Martin. The artist assured El Nuevo Dia that he had received many calls of friends saying that they were taken back some 15 years, after the presentation of the concert EL Reencuetro. â€œThe truth is that to see a generation like mine dancing yet to the choreography that we did on the stage in the decade of the 80â€™s shows that music never diesâ€¦but we are here. Its not important where one is, to talk of Menudo with men and women signifies great memories.â€
And as the music never dies, we talk about the new album radiating vitality.
â€œMy album is a rebirth, a freedom, it is the opportunity to work with the greats in music like the Black Eyed Peasâ€¦I stepped in the discotheques of Egypt, India, England and Brazil to see what is the common denominator of the sound that has people vibrating and it went well. This is the denominator, fusing the organic sounds of the body recording in Egypt and percussions of India and Brazil.â€
Donâ€™t look for La Vida Loca, She Bangs or The Cup of life. These will be songs that I will sing all my life on the stage, but the new sound of Ricky is of someone that grew as a composer, that grows as a producer and that will risk himselfâ€.
He continued that there are 10 songs he has authored of those 2 have Spanish versions. In the lyrics he works from his Spiritual side without being predictor of how it feels to be free. It comes as an elemental surprise, from a respectful creative space, the date of release, but he appears content with the belief of what will be his next CD And in the fashion department, Martin now is the star figure of the new publicity campaign of the mega store C&A of Brazil, a country that has always identified with and which he talks their language.
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