Celebrities Visit Haiti: Sean Penn And Shakira Help With Relief
American Celebrities Assist Haiti Earthquake Victims
April 12 marked three-month anniversary of the deadly earthquake in Haiti that is estimated to have claimed anywhere between 92,000 and 230,000 lives, leaving one million people homeless.
Singer Shakira traveled to Haiti to oversee the construction of the school that she helped to set up, as part of her Barefoot Foundation. As she was touring the site, the singer met local children who danced to her songs. Sakira met with Sean Penn who is in Haiti with his Jenkins-Penn Haitian Relief Organization.
"We've come to make all the preparations to be able to start the building of a Barefoot school here in Haiti," Shakira told Reuters in a brief interview.
Shakira's foundation already helps thousands of children in Colombia.
In the wake of the deadly earthquake, celebrities worldwide united to hold Hope For Haiti Now Telethon to raise funds for Haiti relief effort. The telethon, overseen by Oscar-winning actor George Clooney and Haitian musician Wyclef Jean, was held on January 22 and has raised over US $61 million for the relief effort.
- Hope For Haiti Telethon: George Clooney & Wyclef Jean Host Jan 22
- "Hope For Haiti Now" Telethon: Time, Networks And Line-Up
Three months later, celebrities are once again joining forces to help the cause, now from within Haiti. On the ground in Haiti right now are Demi Moore, Gerard Butler, Susan Sarandon, Olivia Wilde, Paul Haggis, Ben Stiller and others.
The celebrities visited a camp for internally displaced persons managed by actor Sean Penn and his Jenkins-Penn Humanitarian Relief Organization in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, St. Damien's hospital and shelter camps. Artists for Peace and Justice is another charity working to rebuild Haiti's education system. Some of the visiting celebrities are part of the charity. Stiller is on the board of directors.
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama also made a surprise visit to Haiti today. Michelle Obama along with the wife of Vice President Joe Biden Jill Biden toured Port-au-Prince on a helicopter and met with the President of Haiti Rene Preval.
"It's powerful," Obama told reporters. "The devastation is definitely powerful."