In Bratislava on February 9 there was a charity concert for the people of Haiti with the slogan: “Haiti? You Too!“ The Salesians of Don Bosco were among the organisers.
The Concert for Haiti was aimed at awakening Slovakian people to the tragedy that befell the Caribbean country and also to enable them to express their solidarity and generosity by a financial contribution.
At the concert, broadcast by TV Lux, a Slovakian Catholic station, there were performances by many popular Slovakian singers, artists, and dancers who appeared free of charge. Among those who spoke during the concert, from their first-hand experience of being present in Haiti were Prof. Vladimír Kr?méry and reporter Andrej Bán.
The concert started with the recitation of a poem called “Give me souls; take away the rest,” written by the deceased Slovakian Salesian Štefan Sandtner. It ended with the song “We Are The World” (Michael Jackson) sung by all the performers.
Two ways to contribute were proposed. The first was that those who were physically present at the concert paid 7€ for a ticket; and the second was for those who wanted to help by sending an SMS which donated 1€. The possibility of sending an “SMS to donate” is available until the end of February.
Almost 900 people attended the concert, while since then more than 5,000 SMSs have been sent. The secretary general of the Slovakian Catholic Charity said about people´s generosity: “We didn´t expect such an extensive reaction from the people to the ‘SMS to donate’ during a single day.”
All the money collected by the two institutions (Slovakian Catholic Charity and the Salesians) will be sent to Haiti. Sixty percent of it will be used for emergency aid to avert a humanitarian disaster and forty percent for reconstruction work.
“The last few weeks were very encouraging for me. Seeing and feeling the support and enthusiasm of the artists, companies, media, and volunteers who want to help Haitians gave me great motivation and helped us to finalize the concert successfully,” said one of the organizers, Martin Královi?, who has worked with the Slovakian Salesians (and Domka Association of Salesian Youth) for a long time.