BENEFITING: J/P Haitian Relief Organization
ORGANIZER: J/P Haitian Relief Organization
Marjan Shaki and Lukas Perman are actors and singers based in Vienna. They have performed as leads in numerous theater and musical-theater productions. Marjan who is German-Iranian met Lukas, an Austrian native, in 2004 when they co-starred as leads in the “Romeo & Julia” production, which performed over 450 times.
When Marjan and Lukas heard about the terrible earthquake in Haiti in 2010, they got involved immediately by organizing funding events to help the victims of the disaster. Since 2010 the couple has organized three benefit events to aid ongoing rebuilding efforts in Haiti. Their cause brought together some of the the biggest musical and pop stars of Europe, all of whom performed at the famous Ronacher Theater in Vienna.
In 2011, the couple got to know Sean Penn at a Haiti benefit event, whose organization
JP HRO has been doing exceptional work in Haiti. Since then, Marjan and Lukas have joined efforts with Penn’s organization and donate all proceeds to JP HRO.
After having met Mr. Penn, the couple traveled for the first time to Haiti in 2011, to get a better understanding how the Haitian people were doing, and to witness with their own eyes to scope of the devastation as well the rebuilding efforts through JP HRO.
In 2012, when they traveled a second time to Haiti, they were encouraged and excited to witness the sizable improvements and advancements which their funds helped contribute to. And yet, they discovered that there was still much to be done in Haiti, with little financial means to accomplish the grand task of rebuilding Haiti’s infrastructure.
Marjan and Lukas are in close contact with the leaders of of JP HRO and and follow each new chapter of the rebuilding efforts from their home base in Vienna.
“Haiti has etched itself onto our hearts. We don’t feel like we chose Haiti, but that in a strange way, when the catastrophe occurred, we had open hearts towards the people on this island. Haiti in essence chose us. We now feel impassioned to give voice to the Haitian people whose needs and voices, due to the distance to Europe, often get drowned out. Having traveled personally to Haiti, we not only feel the devastation more profoundly, but also find ourselves more in love with the culture and its people. It is therefore that we continue to support all rebuilding efforts in Haiti and are hopeful to welcome the day when Haiti and its people are restored.”