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  • 24 Oct 2023 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    Fundraising status 

    Target : €15,000

          Amount raised : €34,000

    About the Koma Karanth Foundation:

    The KOMA KARANTH FOUNDATION was established during a feeding in Gloria, Oriental Mindoro when Maitreyi Karanth (Founder of the Foundation) came across a family with a young mother, Marilyn, who had suffered a stroke and was living in a hut with no toilet. Maitreyi immediately put together a team of labourers and started building a house for them. Heartbreakingly, Marilyn didn’t live to see the home completed, but this tragedy gave Maitreyi the drive to continue building homes for the poor people of Gloria, Oriental Mindoro (Philippines) – eventually completing the initial home, which they named ‘Marilyn’, plus more homes for the labourers who had aided in the construction of ‘Marilyn.”  For more information on the KOMA KARANTH FOUNDATION, please visit

  • 7 Apr 2023 12:17 PM | Anonymous

    Fundraising status 

    Target : €15,000

    Raised : €17,236

    About the Hope Foundation:

    Since 1999, The Hope Foundation is committed to ensure the protection of children living on the streets and slums of Kolkata, who are deprived of their basic human rights of Survival, Protection, Development, and Participation as advocated under the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child. It has always been HOPE’s priority to restore children to their families, where possible, and we develop families through strengthened interventions. Where home environments do not exist or still pose a threat, these vulnerable children are placed in HOPE protection homes under order of Kolkata’s Child Welfare Committee. Our Homes provide a safe and loving environment with an integrative approach to all aspects of childcare covering education, nutrition, healthcare, sports and recreation for their holistic development.A bus is needed to safely transport the children and women to hospitals or health centres for check-ups and treatment, and the women in our Mother and Child Care Unit also need to travel to vocational training centres. The bus is also needed to bring the children to school, and to sport clubs and parks for trainings, competitions and extracurricular activities. The current vehicle is 15 years old and warrants urgent replacement in adherence with Government guidelines.

    Update from the Hope Foundation:

    WiTR - HOPE Update Report January 2023.pdf

  • 27 Oct 2021 4:49 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    Fundraising status

    Target : €15,000 

    Raised : €17,236

    During a WiTR zoom catch up in late 2021, we were joined by Jeff Rotmeyer, the founder of ImpactHK, WiTR’s charity for 2021. Jeff explained to those who joined how the team at ImpactHK work 365 days per year to help AND befriend the many individuals who find themselves sleeping on the streets in Hong Kong. With WiTR’S usual ability to raise money thwarted by the pandemic, Jeff was left speechless when it was announced that FILTR.QINGWA were very generously donating a sum of USD16,000! This was a brilliant surprise for all AND so, so kind of FILTR.QINGWA.

    ImpactHK have been extremely busy due to the increased amount of homeless individuals being forced to sleep on the streets due to Covid19 and job losses, coupled with a lack of government support.  ImpactHK continue to serve roughly 500 meals per day on the streets and have 180 active cases they are providing shelter and care for.

    The amazing support from WiTR  is providing rooms as emergency shelter for homeless females.   While these females are staying in ImpactHK’s hostel they are also provided with a range of holistic services including counselling, activities and job support.

    With ImpactHK being lucky enough to be the chosen charity again for 2021, the idea is to keep improving our support for the previously homeless females we help and also to open a female emergency hostel as soon as possible.  The initial USD16k has funded additional rooms and further funds will go towards the provision of an actual hostel where the women can be together.

    ImpactHK are so grateful for the support from WiTR!  It is making such a difference to destitute women in Hong Kong.

  • 14 Sep 2020 7:31 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    Fundraising status

    Target : €15,000

    Raised : €15,000

    ImpactHK has been selected as the 2020 project for Women in Travel Retail to support. ImpactHK was nominated by Erin Lillis of Lacoste.
    ImpactHK supports homeless women in Hong Kong where females on the streets, as in many other cities, are particularly vulnerable and susceptible to abuse and attack. The €15,000 that WiTR aims to raise this year will contribute towards creating an emergency shelter where women can be housed in a safe place until more permanent housing can be found.

    Erin is thrilled that you have voted for ImpactHK as the WiTR charity for 2020. She comments,

    “The money raised by our wonderful peers in this exceptional industry will go directly to change the lives of women and children in need and ensure that they have a safe and bright future. I will personally follow the project closely and update everyone, and anyone visiting HK for work or pleasure is more than welcome to see for themselves the fantastic work that ImpactHK are doing.”

    Jeff Rotmeyer, Founder of ImpactHK said:

    “On behalf of ImpactHK, thank you so much for supporting us and the homeless in Hong Kong this year! Your support will go directly towards saving lives and ensuring that dozens of homeless females are given a safe place off the streets and an opportunity for a healthy and happy future. All homeless individuals that we house are given a holistic programme focused on as much connection and fun as possible. We truly cannot thank you enough for this support and we cannot wait to work with you in saving more lives of our city’s most vulnerable.”

  • 5 Oct 2019 7:34 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    Fundraising status

    Target : €15,000 

    Raised : €19,000

    In 2019, Women in Travel Retail has chosen to support Friends-International, raising money for its Beauty Vocational Training and Education Support in Siem Reap.

    Friends-International is an award-winning international social enterprise that has been operating since 1994. 25 years ago, founder and executive director, Sebastien Marot, landed in Phnom Penh, an unplanned visit with friends while traveling throughout Southeast Asia. Sebastien was overwhelmed and shocked by the sheer volume of children living on the streets. He quickly learned that these children wanted to go to school and get an education – and changed his plans to stay in Phnom Penh and focus his efforts on these children and youth to give them a better chance at life. Fast forward to the present day and Friends-International is now in 23 countries through partner operations and have physical offices in six. Sebastien’s vision has created an organisation focused on ‘Saving Lives and Building Futures’ of the most marginalised children, youth and their families through a number of programs which provide outreach and social services, drug & alcohol rehabilitation, support groups, remedial education, the reintegration of children back to school, as well as training and jobs to their caretakers to ensure they stay in school. And these are just a few examples! Vocational training is one of the key programs to help break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of the most marginalised children and youth. And the most at risk is always female youth.

    Marginalised female youth in Cambodia continually face many barriers to access employment including lack of education and the ability to pay for training. Often living on the streets, they are forced to work in hazardous occupations such as construction, scavenging, sex work or begging – leaving them vulnerable to health risks and abuse.

    By supporting the beauty vocational training program, Women in Travel Retail will be actively taking a part in breaking this cycle.

    The vocation training programs – offered to youth aged between 15-24 years of age – lead to stable and quality employment. The beauty vocational training is one of seven programs offered by Friends, including hospitality, barber, motor mechanic, electrical, welding and sewing.

    The beauty vocational training program runs for eight months with a curriculum which provides market-aligned quality technical skills within a classroom environment and importantly within beauty and nail training salons. Equally important, the programs also offer psycho-social counseling, basic literacy and numeracy, Khmer and English lessons, as well as a significant focus on soft skills: personal development via confidence-building, emotion and stress management, along with collaborative working skills designed to truly empower the youth in the programs.

    The program links students to a full range of basic social services such as medical referrals to hospitals, support to obtain legal documents (as many Khmer children and youth born after the Khmer Rouge ruling do not own birth certificates for example), a meal each day, transport to and from training, as well as short-term housing if required.

    After graduating, the students then progress to the ‘Futures Office’ where employment experts help the students secure employment or assist them in starting a micro-enterprise. Friends has a growing network of hundreds of local businesses who accept graduates as interns, apprentices or full-time employees. For self-employment, Friends can sponsor the equipment and material needed for start-ups until they become self-sustainable (six to 12 months on average).

    Last year, 43 girls studied in the beauty vocational training program:

    • 30 were newly enrolled
    • 27 were placed in employment and 16 rolled over to continue their training in 2019

    To donate, please click here.

  • 17 Jul 2018 7:45 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    Fundraising status

    Target : 20,000

    Raised : 25,000

    Sunrise Siem Reap Orphanage

    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.”

    To nominate a 2019 charitable project, please email

  • 13 Apr 2017 7:50 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    Fundraising status 

    Target : €20,000

    Raised : €20,000

    Sunrise Siem Reap Orphanage

    Sunrise Angkor Learning Center opened in 2015, providing children from the Sunrise orphanage and surrounding area with quality education in the English language, information, communication and technology (ICT), Khmer traditional dance and music skills, art skill, cooking, hospitality and physical education. Currently the Learning Center accommodates 279 children/students, of which 173 students are disadvantaged children selected from surrounding communities.

    With a newly developed curriculum, the Learning Center runs English classes with 2 hours per session and two shifts per day from two classrooms and a computer room (funded by WiTR in 2016). Junior and senior students have been separated into different classes and levels, however the facility has already reached its operating capacity.

    In 2017, WiTR is raising funds to create a further two English and Khmer classrooms, and one Khmer traditional music room. The main purpose of this project is to improve the quality of education for unfortunate children in community and the Sunrise orphanage children, through providing the best possible free, quality education and skill development, and support their integration and prosperity in society with meaningful skills and talents.

    Photo of facilities at present (March 2017)

  • 17 Feb 2016 7:51 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    Fundraising status

    Target : €15,000

    Raised : €25,000

    Sunrise Siem Reap Orphanage

    In 2016 Women in Travel Retail (WiTR) raised more than €25,000 to build and equip two classrooms for children at the Sunrise Siem Reap orphanage in Cambodia, surpassing its €15,000 target.

    The Sunrise Learning Centre caters for children from the poorest sectors of the Siem Reap community. Children are offered free classes in English, in the hope that skills learned at the school will help its students find work in the tourist city. The money was raised through the support of companies and individuals at WiTR’s lucky draw and silent auction TFWA World Exhibition. The event was supported by many brands and retailers, with cash donations from Heinemann Asia, Aer Rianta International, King Power Hong Kong Managing Director Sunil Tuli, Concourse Display Management, Circle Square, Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits amongst others.

    The project was nominated by WiTR member and Lacoste Travel Retail Director Erin Lillis-Arrowsmith who said:

    “I have been to Siem Reap many times and seen the amazing work that the learning centre does, but they desperately need more classrooms and equipment to meet the demand. Learning English is so important to help the children at the orphanage and in neighbouring villages break the cycle of poverty and to give them a future”

  • 2 Nov 2015 7:54 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    Fundraising status

    Target : €10,000

    Raised : €21,947

    Sunrise Siem Reap Orphanage

    In 2015 the travel retail industry once again underlined its generosity and willingness to give to needy communities and causes with a fundraising push at TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes, raising money to provide housing for a further 30 children at the Brahmaputra Home built by TFWA Care in Guwahati, Assam, working with Lotus Flower Trust.

    Women in Travel Retail organised a raffle and silent auction to raise funds Later, at the Frontier Awards Dinner – where WiTR was recognised for its contribution to the industry – Godiva CEO Mohamed Elsarky donated a further €10,000. That was followed by a €1,000 donation from Frontier Magazine and a further €500 from an anonymous donor. WiTR exceeded its target to reach €21,947.

    WiTR member and Furla Global Travel Retail Director, Gerry Munday commented:

    “The generosity of many individuals and companies is so very much appreciated. Without Mohamed’s stunning gesture, we would have had to scale back our plans but this makes all the difference.”

    WiTR member and World Duty Free Group Business Relations and External Affairs Director, Sarah Branquinho added:

    “The extension to the Brahmaputra Home which already houses 25 children, will give 30 more children a safe home, regular meals and the opportunity to go to school, something that most of us take for granted. The generosity of this industry never fails to amaze me.”

  • 14 Sep 2014 7:57 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    Sunrise Siem Reap Orphanage

    Fundraising status 

    Target : €25,000

    Raised : €35,000

    WiTR pledged to raise 25,000 Euros to buy a lorry to assist in building a children’s centre operating 24/7 and home to more than 60 children orphaned by illness., a school for them and 40 other pupils, and a medical clinic to help over 3000 children and their families through preventative intervention and medical treatment.

    In total, over the course of 2014 35,000 Euros was raised, with 5,000 Euros immediately released to feed orphaned children in the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak.

    All As One – the charity nominated by Sharon Beecham of Dubai Duty Free – were then able to hire out the lorry to provide a steady stream of income for the home school and clinic

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