Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Help for Haiti’s children

In its first year as a fully-fledged membership organisation for women in the travel retail industry, Women in Travel Retail (WiTR) has chosen to support Hand in Hand for Haiti in 2018 by raising a minimum of €15,000 to buy musical instruments. This will enable the launch of Lycée Jean- Baptiste Pointe du Sable’s (LJBPS) first extracurricular instrumental music program in partnership with Ecole de Musique Christian Nohel de Saint Marc (EMCN).

The benefits of music education are astounding. Studies have consistently revealed the tremendously positive effect that music education has on a child’s academic performance, sense of community, self-expression and self-esteem. But for nearly all children across Haiti, formal music education is unattainable.

Following the devastating hurricane that hit Haiti in 2010, Hand in Hand for Haiti was the first charity to receive funds raised by Women in Travel Retail, enabling the new Lycée Jean- Baptiste Pointe du Sable to purchase equipment for the kindergarten. Last year’s devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean were a stark reminder that the students in this world-class school still need our support if they are to break out of the cycle of poverty that besets Haiti, where 80% of the population still live below the poverty line.

Every child in the school will have the opportunity to discover music through these instruments, both music recognised internationally and also their own rich musical heritage.  Playing an instrument gives a child self-confidence as a soloist, encourages teamwork as part of a band or orchestra and provides a wonderful opportunity to gain confidence through public performances – to other students and in their local community.

Following the terrible spate of hurricanes in the Caribbean last year, WiTR was determined to raise money to help children whose lives are time and time again blighted by natural disasters.  Hand in Hand for Haiti, with its fantastic track record, was a unanimous choice by WiTR for support this year.

President and Co-founder, Hand in Hand for Haiti, Olivier Bottrie says, “We are extremely grateful for the continued support of WiTR. Haiti is a country of artists and has a long tradition of musical excellence. We are certain that introducing our children to this art will not only contribute to this tradition but also give them a sense of joy and confidence.”

Note to Editors:
Women in Travel (WiTR) was created in 2006 to recognise the contribution of women to the travel retail industry, past, present and future and as a forum for the women in the travel retail industry. It allows us a privileged medium to exchange ideas, and just as importantly to support people in need who we believe would benefit from our help. From year to year we help different groups or communities (from Haiti to India to Sichuan) to help themselves, with a strong focus on children.

Hand in Hand for Haiti (HIHH) - Our mission is to create future leaders and lasting change in Haiti by providing the highest quality, totally-free education in the country.
Hand in Hand for Haiti was established  in response to the humanitarian crisis following the earthquake that ravaged the country on January 12, 2010. On October 3, 2011, we opened the doors to our school the Lycée Jean- Baptiste Pointe du Sable and welcomed 152 children, Nursery, Pre-K and Kindergarten to Haiti’s first free, earthquake-resistant, sustainable school of excellence. Thanks to the generosity shown by the travel retail industry, as of September 2017, 386 children were enrolled from Nursery to 6th grade; with the soon to be built secondary school, capacity will rise to 720 children.

Additional support ensures the children are healthy and ready to learn including - uniforms, meals, books, school supplies, transportation and healthcare. The children and staff receive two free nutritious meals each school day.

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