Wyclef honored for making Haiti ‘proud’ | Pakistan Today

Wyclef honored for making Haiti ‘proud’

President Michel Martelly has bestowed a distinguished title upon one of Haiti’s most famous sons, Wyclef Jean, for his work as a roving ambassador for the troubled Caribbean nation. Wyclef, 41, a Haitian-American who rose to fame as the frontman of hip hop group the Fugees, was made a Grand Officer of the National Order of Honor and Merit in a ceremony Wednesday at the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince.
Wyclef, who had his own bid for the presidency denied last year for residency reasons but then strongly backed Martelly, played a key role in keeping attention on Haiti after the devastating January 2010 earthquake. The singer aided projects through his Yele Haiti Foundation and has brought in a steady stream of Hollywood stars, including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon, to keep the desperate plight of Haitians in the media spotlight.
“I have great joy in solemnly honoring a son of this earth who has assumed with force, conviction and humanity, his Haitian quality,” Martelly said. This distinction is awarded “as a sign of the utmost appreciation for his dedication to the promotion of Haiti across the world,” he said.
Martelly praised Wyclef for his initiatives to help the estimated 1.3 million Haitians — one in eight of the population — rendered homeless by the quake, which killed more than 225,000 people, according to official figures. Wyclef, who was made a roving ambassador for Haiti in 2007 to help improve its image abroad, moved to the United States with his family at the age of nine. Martelly is struggling to form a government two months after being sworn in and faces a huge task to rebuild a nation shattered by decades of misrule, the 2010 earthquake and a lingering cholera epidemic.

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