Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Marcell Dareus is set to return to Haiti for the second consecutive offseason.
Dareus will once again partner with the highly respected U.S.-based charity, Hope for Haiti.
The humanitarian trip will see the groundbreaking and dedication of the “Marcell Dareus School Wing” at the Christ-Roi Primary School of Cammy on Wednesday, June 20 in front of school officials and the community.
The two-time Pro Bowler, whose Haitian-born father lived in the country until early adulthood, made his first trip to Haiti last offseason.
He met over 800 children and was struck by the emotions he felt upon his first visit.
“I’m overwhelmed with appreciation that Hope for Haiti and the Haitian community are welcoming me back with the dedication and construction of a school wing in my name.” Marcell Dareus.
“Giving back to the Haitian children is so important to me because I see myself in them. Meeting the children last time has stuck with me and motivated me to continue to give back and do as much as I can to help them receive the best education possible.”
Along with the dedication of the one block, three-classroom school wing in his name, Dareus, through his charitable Dareus Foundation, will make another substantial donation to Hope for Haiti.
These funds will be used for the school construction, teacher training, teacher salary subsidies, mobile clinics and back-to-school support for students.
Upon arrival in Haiti on Monday, June 18, Dareus will be welcomed by Haiti’s Prime Minister, Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant.
The pair will link up at the Prime Minister’s private residence before a meet and greet reception with other high-level government officials, Hope for Haiti board members and media members.
“I’m thrilled to have the chance to meet with Prime Minister Lafontant and talk about more ways we can continue to lift the island up,” Dareus continued. “I know what it’s like to struggle, but to see the Haitian people’s hope and gratitude, even though they have so little, is a real message of courage in life and why it makes me feel so good to continue to give back to them.”
Dareus will return to Haiti following last year’s trip that gave him a chance to explore his family’s roots for the first time, while also seeing firsthand where his donation would be put to use.
By continuing to work with Hope for Haiti, Dareus is setting up the groundwork for long term charitable endeavors in Haiti.
“This is something I’m extremely passionate about and something I hope will be part of my legacy long after I’m finished playing football,” said Dareus. “My first trip there was an eye-opening experience for me. There are so many selfless people there who are working to make their lives better. It’s amazing what they’re doing and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Follow Marcell’s trip by using #MarcellHopesForHaiti on Twitter at @MarcellDareus and @HopeForHaitiFL and Instagram at instagram.com/cell57to99 and instagram.com/hopeforhaitifl.