Dearest all, students, teachers, friends of Fondation St Luc, dear parents and Dame Marie residents:

Although I am not physically with you I want to be close to you with my thoughts and my heart in this moment and I want to take part to the joy of this festive Opening day.

If I think of a school I think of a factory. The most precious one I can think of. And like a factory the school produces, even though it doesn’t have all the noisy machineries or the puffing chimneys … The school is a big factory of knowledge, skills and therefore a factory of future. It is for this reason that the opening of the Manitane school must be welcomed as an excellent news for the entire Community of Dame Marie and for the whole country of Haiti.

Surrounded by lavish vegetation, from today we have a beautiful and functional facility which has been built thanks to everybody’s commitment with the involvement and the hard work of you all.

This has been a long and complex project which had to overcome very difficult challenges. Let’s remember that the site construction was suspended due to the Hurricane… Let’s also remember the tragedy of Toto’s death one of the St Luc’s collaborators. I think that it is thanks to him as well if today we can celebrate this factory of the future for the 450 children from kindergarten to secondary level. The facility will be available to the entire community and will be open also in the afternoons to offer professional training courses.

The school boasts also a Guest house for teachers coming from other villages and countries who will train the new generations of local teachers.

Everything is in line with the Mission of ABF and St Luc of empowering people and communities by increasing the level of education at that of national and international standards.

I would like to say hello to the children inviting them to nurture their lives of many passions and I want to urge them to always be curious without being afraid of what they don’t know or what is simply different.

I also invite them to learn other languages in order to be able to exchange emotions everywhere and to discover how within every word they can find a world, just like a time machine that can tell us many things about a civilization, different ways of thinking and living. Lastly I would like to invite them to respect the others following Jesus’s advice and they should never forget to listen to their own hearts.

I would like to say hello and thank the ABF and St Luc teams, as well as all adults in Dame Marie who contributed – even through this school- in providing their children with a fertile ground where they can blossom and flourish and widen their horizons and nurturing their dreams.

Andrea Bocelli