Spotlight: Just Help Haiti

Fiona Jeffery, Chairman of Just a Drop and World Travel Market discusses how she has been overwhelmed by the widespread support the travel and tourism industry has shown Just a Drop’s Just Help Haiti campaign.

Whether it is for business or pleasure the very nature of the travel and tourism industry is that it brings people together from across the world.  As an industry I’m so proud of how we have come together to help Just a Drop attempt to achieve its ambitious £1 million target. We must face up to the enormous challenges in Haiti and as an industry rally together and lend our support to its people. Organisations of all sizes from all sectors of the industry have pledged support and donations including World Travel Market, the premier global event for the travel industry, the European Tour Operators Association, The Travel Club – which has made available the club’s facilities, and the Co-operative Travel which is raising money by raffling a holiday for two to Cancun, Mexico.
Furthermore, luxury tour operator Hayes & Jarvis is hosting a staff fundraising day this month (March), while tour operators All Leisure Group, Kuoni, P&O Ferries, Shearings, Thomas Cook Group and TUI Travel have all pledged £25,000 each to the fund. 

I can not stress how important the one-off Just Help Haiti campaign is. With all disasters of this kind, water shortage is a major problem and fresh supplies are being urgently dispatched to the island. Already hundreds of people having already died due to no access to fresh clean water while half of those people currently in hospital in Haiti are there due to dirty water.  Once immediate needs are met, it is vital that support is ongoing so that the recovery process is sustained. That means rebuilding the water and sanitation infrastructure. The appeal to the travel and tourism industry is a small part of a global response to this world disaster. But clean, fresh water is a life-giving commodity and the charity has a vital role to play. I urge everyone to lend their support because every little bit adds up to making a huge difference.

It is great that the travel and tourism industry are collectively getting behind Just Help Haiti so whole heartedly and I’m extremely grateful for all the donations that have already been made through this partnership initiative. Where Just a Drop, which has already helped more than one million people since being launched in 1998, makes a real difference is in the work post the emergency relief effort as its field operatives will look to create sustainable water and sanitation solutions for communities encouraging them back to their homes, villages and schools so they are not locked in temporary refugee camps for too long.

A £1 donation can deliver safe water to a person for nearly 10 years so visit http://www.justadrop.org to make your donation today. Alternatively send a cheque made payable to Just a Drop, to the attention of Ana Sustelo – Just a Drop Co-Ordinator Gateway House, 28 The Quadrant, Richmond TW9 1DN. Alternatively to make a BACS transfer, please contact Nikki Davis : mailto:[email protected]?Subject=JAD enquiry . Industry accountants and specialists White Hart Associates LLP will be monitoring the finances of this particular campaign.

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