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Students invited to Wyclef Jean design competition

John McAslan + Partners has established a new RIBA international student design competition for a music studio in Cité Soleil (Port-au-Prince), Haiti, on behalf of Wyclef Jean and his charity Yéle Haiti. To be launched on Friday 18th December, the competition will be open to students from around the world.

Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, with the majority of Haiti’s 8 million residents living on less than US$1 per day. Unemployment is close to 80 per cent, and more than half the population is under 21 years old.

Yėle was founded by the Haitian-born, Grammy Award-winning musician and record producer Wyclef Jean, formerly of The Fugees. Yėle Haiti is a grassroots movement which aims to raise global awareness for Haiti and transform the country through the regeneration of forgotten neighbourhoods and programmes in education, sports, the arts and environment. As Goodwill Ambassador to Haiti, Jean’s enduring passion is to help his country’s youthful population to rebuild their nation.

Yéle Haiti is building a music studio in Cité Soleil that will combine the recording of music and radio programming with vocational training, micro-enterprise opportunities and job creation for at-risk youth in that area. The studio is a joint venture between Yéle Haiti, Sak Pasé Records (Wyclef Jean’s own record label) and Radio Boukman, a popular community radio station in Cité Soleil. The joint venture arrangement will be committed to using music and radio to promote development and social issues.

Wyclef Jean said, "Music is what I live, breathe and sleep. Where I come from, music is not just notes. It is a way of survival. That’s how important the Yéle Music Studio is. Building this project in Cité Soleil is a matter of life and death."

John McAslan said, “John McAslan + Partners has been working with Wyclef Jean’s charity Yéle, the Clinton Global Initiative and other organisations in Haiti for a number of years. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, so built projects like the music studio are essential in helping to generate an ongoing income for the community. Our hope is that young architects from around the world will be inspired to create some fantastic designs for the music studio and by doing so, help to provide a better future for Cité Soleil’s young people.”

Interested? Visit RIBA competitions site

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