A non-profit organization specializing in helping to create social change in communities across the world, Fleur De Vie, is now entering their second year of their annual Back to School Recreation Day held in Port Au Prince, Haiti.
After surpassing expectations for participation in their inaugural year, the foundation is gearing up for their 2nd Back to School Recreation Day on September 28th. And this time, they have the support of some Haitian luminaries like Chef Ron Duprat.
Duprat, who was born in Haiti, was once a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef. He sat down with Black Enterprise and talked to us about his involvement with Fleur De Vie.
Black Enterprise: Chef Duprat please tell us how did you get involved with Fleur de Vie? How long have been with the organization? With your busy schedule… Specifically, tell us your role?
Chef Duprat (CD): As a culinary chef I have a passion for cooking but my biggest passion in life is to give back. My culinary flavors stems back to where I am from, the island of Haiti, a country rich in culture and art. Although the island has so many cultivating elements, one place where we continue to struggle is education.
When Fashion Designer and Fleur De Vie Co-Founder Dayanne Danier asked me to support their Back to School Recreational day event in Haiti, I jumped at the chance to come on board and support this worthy cause. So many families struggle to pay the cost of school, uniforms, and school supplies and sadly many of these children don’t attend school. I’ve been an active member of Fleur De Vie for almost two years. They are a team of professionals that believe in transparency and accountability in their work in Haiti.
I have to admit after appearing on Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 6, my life has changed but I always find time to support Fleur De Vie. I use my talent and resources to help sustain this wonderful organization which is doing so much to help underprivileged students and schools in Haiti.
Black Enterprise: Dayanne is on her way down in the next few weeks…do you plan on going with her?
Chef Duprat (CD): Of course! I will be in Haiti supporting Fleur De Vie because I believe in the work that they do. I can’t wait to see the smiles on the faces of these children who till this day are enduring so much hardship after the 2010 earthquake. I will also divide my time to support Haiti’s Food & Spirit Festival “Gout Saveurs Lakay”.
Black Enterprise: typically these types of programs get more support from non-Haitians…why do you think that is?
Chef Duprat (CD): The Haitian people have been faced with many challenges since the 2010 earthquake. The cost of living has gone up every year. Many in the Haitian diaspora continue to support family and relatives back home but it’s sometime hard for them to support other causes. I’ve been truly blessed in life and that is why it is so important for individuals like myself to give back to our native land.
Black Enterprise: what do you say to your fellow Haitians vis a vis helping ourselves versus others coming in to help us?
Chef Duprat (CD): I know times are rough for many Haitians living the United States as we try to rebuild our economy. I want them to know that it doesn’t take much to give back. Volunteer your services if you are unable to provided monetary donations. It just takes time and commitment and the will to help.
Black Enterprise: Anything that you’d like to add?
Chef Duprat (CD): The only way for Haiti to survive is to invest in education of its children. A country with a majority of the population who cannot read and write will not prosper. I want to see a new Haiti. A country where we can boost our economy and parents can afford to send their children to school. I’ve traveled the world as a culinary chef and visit many countries where tourism is their primary source of revenue. I hope one day Haiti will be a destination spot for tourism and not for charity but until then I’m glad Fleur De Vie is taking on this challenge to support children and their schools. I invite everyone to join us on September 28th for our Back 2 School recreational day event and to please donate to www.fleurdevieonline.org