September 11 2018  |  Industry News

Women in Travel Retail makes music for Haiti’s children

By Mary Jane Pittilla

Children at the Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable in Haiti will soon be able to enjoy the school’s first extracurricular instrumental music program

In its first year as a fully-fledged membership organization 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 €15,000 (US$17,300) to buy musical instruments.

This will enable the launch of Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable’s first extracurricular instrumental music program in partnership with Ecole de Musique Christian Nohel de Saint Marc.

The benefits of music education are astounding, WiTR said. Studies have shown the 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,” said WiTR.

Every child in the school will be able to discover music through these instruments. 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.

Following the spate of hurricanes in the Caribbean last year, WiTR was determined to raise money to help children whose lives are blighted by natural disasters. Hand in Hand for Haiti was a unanimous choice by WiTR for support this year.

The fund-raising got off to a spectacular start during the TFWA Asia Pacific fair when Travel Retail Business and guests at the magazine’s first consumer-led awards ceremony generously donated nearly €6,000 (US$7,000).

Women in Travel Retail will be inviting exhibitors and visitors at the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes to help them reach their target of €15,000 by entering the draw to win fabulous prizes.

Entry into the raffle is via three business cards for €20. Additional commitments from industry colleagues of auction and raffle prizes for the grand draw would be appreciated. Please deliver donations/raffle prizes to the Furla stand (Bay Village Bay 2) by 15.00 on Tuesday, October 2.

This year’s meeting takes place on Tuesday, October 2 from 17.30 to 19.00 at the far end of the Palais des Festivals, Level 1, Business Centre.

President and Co-founder, Hand in Hand for Haiti, Olivier Bottrie said: “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.”

WiTR thanked TFWA and QuestExhibits for their help in facilitating the WiTR meeting.

For WiTR membership enquiries, contact Johanne Hedges at For advertising and branding enquiries, contact Amanda Felix at

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