Hand in Hand for Haiti takes shape

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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Great news reaches The Moodie Blog from Haiti, where yesterday saw an important landmark for Hand in Hand for Haiti.

As reported, the travel retail industry-funded charity is building a school in the town of St Marc, to help the reconstruction of Haiti after the tragic earthquake in January this year.

In June Hand in Hand for Haiti Steering Committee Members Ed Brennan (DFS Group) and Olivier Bottrie (The Estée Lauder Companies) put a stake in the ground in the school’s chosen location in Saint Marc. This weekend significant further progress was made as the temporary entrance to the school (pictured above and below) was 90% completed.

Despite numerous daunting challenges that have been encountered by the Hand in Hand for Haiti team, the project is on target to open the first phase of the school in early 2011.

It’s already clear that the school, endorsed by the Haitian Minister of Education, Joel Desrosiers Jean-Pierre, and described by the French Ambassador Didier le Bret, as ‘the most important investment in the field of education outside of [capital city] Port-au-Prince in the past 30 years’, will need significant on-going funding from the travel retail channel.

We’re delighted therefore to promote an initiative from Women in Travel (WiT), which at its annual meeting at TFWA World Exhibition in October plans to raise €15,000 in aid of Hand in Hand for Haiti.

WiT is asking exhibitors at TFWA World Exhibition to donate prizes for a grand draw and, of course, for as many visitors and exhibitors as possible to participate by donating €10 per entry, or three for €20. The money raised will be presented to Hand in Hand for Haiti to purchase equipment for the pre-school, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes. We urge everyone in the industry to support the initiative.

We’ll keep you posted on developments both in Cannes and in Haiti as travel retail’s greatest-ever collective fund-raising effort literally takes shape.

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