Women in Travel Retail raises €24,800 for Friends International charity

By Charlotte Turner |

WiTR-meeting-Cannes-2019-leadWomen in Travel Retail has raised €19,000 ($20,974) alone during its October meeting at this year’s TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes  to provide training to young women aged 16-24, helping them to work in a safe place, provide for their families and learn customer-oriented skills in a real work environment. 


As reported, the money raised will fund places for young women on Friends International’s beauty vocational training program with a curriculum which provides market-aligned quality technical skills within a classroom environment and within recognised beauty and nail training salons.


Equally important, the program also offers psycho-social counselling, 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.


The original target of €15,000 was exceeded in part thanks to significant contributions – from Shiseido, the Moodie Davitt Report, Gebr. Heinemann, Sunil Tuli, and WiTR networking meetings in Singapore, Hong Kong and at Duty Free Americas in Orlando – and to the generosity of companies in providing fabulous silent auction items and raffle prizes and to all who participated by bidding and entering the draw.



After graduating, the students progress to FI’s Futures Office where employment experts help the students secure employment or assist them in starting a micro-enterprise.


Friends-International Founder and Executive Director, Sabastien Maron, commented: “We extend our thanks to the exhibitors and visitors to TFWA Cannes who have helped WiTR to reach their target and ensured that these young people can achieve their dreams by completing their training, finding employment and going on to have stable, successful and happy lives.”


Gerry Munday, Vice Chair of WiTR commented: “When we all have so much, it’s fantastic to see the industry come together to give young women who faces so many challenges the opportunity to train as beauticians and earn a living for themselves and their families.”



Run in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the Friends International program gives beauty salon training to young women aged 16-24.

“This was the biggest meeting ever of Women in Travel Retail with many new faces.  There are now over 300 WiTR members – and we’re still growing,” commented Sarah Branquinho, Chair WiTR. “All women in travel retail are invited to join WiTR; next year’s charity will again be nominated and decided by WiTR members.”


Thanks go once again to TFWA for its ongoing support, to Follador – celebrating their 250th anniversary and adding sparkle again to our meeting, and to Rob and his team at QuestExhibits for their help with the logistics.



Women in Travel Retail raised close to €19,000 during its October meeting at this year’s TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes.


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