The project has drawn serious attention in Haiti and we're told that visiting dignitaries are routinely flown over the school's campus to demonstrate philanthropy in action.
An aerial view of the growing Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable campus.
As for why the travel-retail industry threw themselves into this cause with gustoessentially creating the biggest charity fund-raiser in travel-retail industry historyhere's the story from co-founder Olivier Bottrie (as interviewed by cohort Martin Moodie):
My wife Alexandra is from Haiti. After the earthquake on January 12th I went to the philanthropic committee of the Estée Lauder Companies and our CEO Fabrizio Freda to ask for their financial support, which they lent to me immediately and unconditionally through a very large grant.
Third co-founder Ed Brennan adds:
Ours is an industry characterized by a spirit of competition and, in turn, a spirit of cooperation. One characteristic of travel retail is how we work so well together to solve industry problems. Now we're taking that same spirit of cooperation and applying it to the horrific situation in Haiti.
Everyone from Burberry and Bijoux Terner to LVMH and Tumi has shown their support for Hand in Hand for Haiti. The least we can do is, in turn, support these brands on our travels.
Go forth and duty-free shop and do the world some good while you're at it.
[Photos courtesy Hand in Hand for Haiti]