Project Eden Honored by The Black Woman’s Expo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: LaDawn Burnett
Cell: 312- 375-1763
Project Eden Honored by The Black Woman’s Expo
Chicago-area organization receives Phenomenal Woman Award in recognition of
its efforts to bring economic development solutions to Haiti
Forest Park, IL (August 6, 2010) – Tonight, on Friday, August 6, 2010, Project Eden (PE), an
affiliate of the Joseph Center®, a non-profit based in Forest Park, Illinois, will be honored by The Black
Woman’s Expo with the Phenomenal Woman Awards Gala at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, in recognition of
its efforts to bring economic development solutions to Haiti.
“We are humbled to have been nominated for this honor,” said Deloris Thomas, Executive
Director of Project Eden. “Project Eden works to empower the people of Haiti so they can maximize their
God-given potential and enjoy successful, independent lives. This award is in recognition of the hard
work of our volunteers and the generosity of our donors and on their behalf, we say ‘Thank You.’”
As the official opening event for The Black Women’s Expo, the Phenomenal Woman Awards
Gala pays tribute to outstanding Chicago-area women whose excellence in a variety of fields commands
recognition. Thomas and Wilonda Cannon, Project Manager for PE, will receive the award on behalf of
the organization for the “excellence in faith-based program” category.
Thomas and Cannon just returned from leading Project Eden’s second economic development
mission to Haiti. For nearly three years PE has worked to provide economic development solutions for
Haiti. In 2009, prior to the earthquake, Project Eden traveled to Haiti for its first economic development
mission. Last week, July 25-31, PE returned with 25 volunteers to conduct an intensive three-day business
training seminar for more than 200 local entrepreneurs.
“We believe in coming alongside the people of Haiti and providing what they are most in need
of: knowledge,” said Thomas. “The development of human capital is essential for Haiti’s rebirth. For
two consecutive years, our workshops have taught basic business principles which participants can use to
create or grow their own businesses.”
PE’s three-day seminar, held at Le Plaza Hotel, was comprised of three tracks, each meeting for three
days. The facilitators hold Ivy League degrees including MBAs from Harvard, the Wharton School of
Business, and the University of Chicago.
- More than 150 individuals participated in Be All You Can Dream (BAYCD), an interactive
business simulation that unfolds the process of how to start a business step-by-step.
- The One-on-One Business Consulting workshop taught 27 business owners the components of
a business plan, the role of market research, e-commerce, and developing a marketing strategy.
In addition, each had a one-on-one session with a PE advisor who dissected their business and
provided feedback on how to streamline operations and increase profits. Businesses included
micro-lenders, tailor shops, internet cafes, business services (eg: faxing and printing), bookstores,
health food stores, schools and a water purifying company.
- The workshop, Construction Training: Theory and Planning, educated 26 local construction
workers, architects, and engineers on the importance of building according to industry standards.
Participants visited a local construction site and also took part in a mini-urban planning exercise and
developed their ideal community.
Project Eden members also held a Career Day at Grace International’s elementary and high schools.
Speaking to more than 500 children, they shared how they achieved professional success and empowered
youth to dream big and work hard to achieve their goals. PE members also distributed toys, toiletries,
clothes, and shoes to the residents of Grace Village, the tent city that sprung up on Grace International’s
compound after the earthquake.
Project Eden has long worked with Grace International, a Haitian-based NGO founded by Bishop
Joel Jeune. Initially housing a girl’s orphanage, primary and elementary schools, and clinic, after the
earthquake, Grace became home to more than 25,000 displaced Haitians. Project Eden immediately
helped purchase a flat-bed truck to assist Grace’s organizers with picking up food from distribution
centers. PE also purchased 100 tents for orphans and widows to sleep in.
To date, PE has trained more than 500 Haitians working in business, construction, and education.
For a daily re-cap on Project Eden’s trip to Haiti, visit: http://theprojecteden.blogspot.com .
For more information on Project Eden and how to get involved, visit: www.theprojecteden.org.
About Project Eden
Project Eden is an affiliate of the Joseph Center, a non-profit entrepreneur training center and incubator
founded by Dr. William S. Winston. Located in Forest Park, Illinois, Project Eden offers a unique
approach to economic development. Based on the belief that efficient businesses and markets are
the drivers for sustainable economic development, Project Eden is committed to growing successful
entrepreneurs and revitalizing communities in developing nations. Our mission is to eradicate poverty
around the world, one community at a time.