Marc Anthony`s foundation funds orphanage in Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo: Salsa icon Marc Anthony will inaugurate the construction of an orphanage in the Dominican Republic next week, a project being financed by the non-profit organization that he and Colombian concert promoter Henry Cardenas lead.

Anthony, who is of Puerto Rican descent, and Cardenas will be on hand Nov 23 for the groundbreaking ceremony of the "Ninos de Cristo" (Children of Christ) orphanage in the eastern Dominican province of La Romana, according to a statement issued Thursday.

The singer-songwriter and Cardenas, who is organizing a concert tour that features Anthony, Chayanne and Marco Antonio Solis and includes a show in the Dominican Republic Nov 24, are funding this orphanage through their US-based Maestro Cares Foundation.

The orphanage will have space for 43 children and be built on land donated by the Central Romana Corporation, a Dominican-based company.

The impetus for the project was an Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean report indicating that 49 percent of Dominican children were living in poverty and 7.7 percent in extreme poverty in 2007, the statement said.

Maestro Cares` mission is to "help Latin American children by providing them with healthy and safe environments", Cardenas said in the statement, adding that another of its priorities is to promote education.

"Education is key because it will bring children closer to their dreams. They are our future leaders," Cardenas said.