Sean Penn on rebuilding Haiti – FT.com

They are an unlikely double act. Lamothe, the son of a painter and an expert in Spanish literature, is a former entrepreneur who founded a telecoms company before moving into Haitian politics; Penn, a two-time Oscar-winner, is often hailed as the natural heir to Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando for the grittiness of his performances and onscreen toughness (which is often reflected in his behaviour off it, particularly in his encounters with intrusive paparazzi). He and Lamothe would never have crossed paths were it not for the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed a quarter of a million people, injured 300,000 and left 1.5 million homeless.

While plenty of Hollywood stars burnish their reputations with charitable giving, their input often doesn’t extend much beyond hosting fundraisers and Beverly Hills black-tie dinners. Penn’s involvement in Haiti is quite different. Within days of the disaster he was in the country forming an aid group, J/P HRO, which would take a lead role in the relief effort. He had never been to the country before the 7.0 magnitude quake but says he was appalled by the scale of suffering. via – FT.com



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