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Wyclef Jean plans to build a school in Haiti to help children in his native country.

“I want to start working on building a school,” he told “It’s going to be called the Yéle Center. Hopefully I can start the fundraiser in six months… Right now we’re just focusing with Yéle Haiti, it’s the start of a new year. The next goal is to try to raise money so we can build a physical facility. I want something that’s sustainable for kids. One person got me out of Haiti, my parents got me to America. I took the dream back to Haiti. If I could just save one kid from that school and get the next Wyclef Jean or next Shakira, I’ll be satisfied.”

Jean established the Yéle Haiti Foundation in 2005 to use music, sports and the media to reinforce projects that are making a difference in education, health, environment and community development in Haiti. With celebrity supporters such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the organization creates small-scale, manageable and replicable projects to contribute to Haiti’s long-term progress.

“Haiti is my native country, one I know as the first black nation to gain independence in 1804,” said Jean. "Most other people seem to know Haiti only by the statistics about how bad things are there. The majority of its 8 million residents live on less than $1 per day. Unemployment is close to 80 percent, and more than half the population is under 21 years old. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.

“The objective of Yéle Haiti is to restore pride and a reason to hope, and for the whole country to regain the deep spirit and force that is part of our heritage.”

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