Alison leads Brand Haiti on exciting Irish mission to revive stricken island
A group of Irish marketers has joined forces to help with the rebuilding of Haiti.
The team hopes to change the Caribbean country's image from a nation known for gang violence and cholera to a holiday destination with a vibrant economy.
The massive earthquake that struck the country last year left 316,000 people dead and 1.6 million homeless.
Since the quake, project director Alison Cowzer has flown to and from the capital Port-au-Prince to co-ordinate plans with Dubliner Sarah O'Toole and meet financiers, entrepreneurs and development groups.
Alison has fundraised for Goal and the Ronald McDonald home-from-home for families of seriously ill children.
The Irish project, which began as the not-for-profit Soul of Haiti Foundation, will be known as Brand Haiti. It aims to restore national confidence and pride and promote exports and direct foreign investment.
Also supporting the initiative are Kerry entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly; former Tourism Ireland executive Noel Toolan; Paul Bannister, who headed up Brand South Africa after apartheid collapsed; and Dublin ad agency, Rothco.Kennelly's Tweak.com sponsored a collection of 2,000 photos (see inset) taken by Irish photo journalists last year. Denis O'Brien's Digicel, Alternatives' recruitment agency director Aldagh McDonogh and financial services executive John Cunningham also helped.
Haitian president Michel Martelly has approved the project and Alison is keeping her fingers crossed for a formal launch in November.