India 29 September 2016: The Cathay Pacific Group and the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) today announced that close to HK$20 million was raised from passengers through the Change for Good inflight fundraising programme and the Group’s staff appeal during the 2015 programme period.
Of the total donation, HK$13.9 million has been used to support UNICEF’s ongoing efforts in improving the lives of vulnerable children worldwide, while HK$6 million has been used to provide life-saving supplies, services and other relief work in Nepal following the devastating earthquakes that struck the country in April last year.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said, “We are delighted to partner with UNICEF HK, running Change for Good and encouraging our passengers to donate their unused currency for a meaningful cause. Since its launch in 1991, more than HK$165 million has been raised to support UNICEF’s ongoing efforts. We wish to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to our passengers for their generous contribution, and to our staff, especially the many who have volunteered with UNICEF HK to support the programme.”
Ms Judy Chen, Chairman of UNICEF HK, expressed her appreciation for the airline’s support: “Change for Good is a well-established direct funding programme, contributing significantly to the sustainability of UNICEF’s life-saving initiatives in over 150 developing countries. In 2015, 55% of UNICEF’s regular resource programmes have been dedicated to impoverished regions and villages in Sub-Saharan Africa, 19% towards the Middle East and North Africa, 17% towards Asia, and 9% to the rest of the world. Funds have been used to support the strategic outcomes of health, education, child protection, nutrition, social inclusion, water and sanitation and HIV/AIDS. I sincerely hope more people can join us in making a difference for children by donating through Change for Good.”
In times of major natural disasters, Cathay Pacific has responded quickly, through mobilizing its staff, making donations and offering its services to transport emergency supplies, relief personnel and volunteers to the affected region. In May 2015, passengers of Cathay Pacific and Dragonair extended their generosity to the people of Nepal by donating HK$2.6 million within two weeks of the earthquakes, which is equivalent to more than two months of regular donations. Together with HK$1.7 million raised through Cathay Pacific staff donations, a figure matched by company funds, the Group was able to contribute a total of HK$6 million to aid UNICEF’s emergency relief work in the country.
Ms Chen added, “UNICEF responded to the earthquakes that struck Nepal in 2015 with a humanitarian action plan by calling for US$120 million, of which 80% has been directed towards education, water and sanitation, health, child protection and nutrition to meet the needs. For instance, emergency care centres were established to support life-saving health services and prevent outbreaks of communicable diseases. To treat children with malnutrition, ready-to-use therapeutic food and supplementary feeding were provided. UNICEF also provided emergency and sustained water supply intervention through the distribution of water treatment products and hygiene kits to the local communities. As such, the additional HK$6 million raised by Cathay Pacific has given heart-warming relief towards the life-saving and recovery work for children and their families in Nepal.”
CAPTION: Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu (second from left) presents the 2015 Change for Good donation to UNICEF HK Chairman Judy Chen (middle) and Chairman of Fundraising Committee David Fong (second from right).
A team of 11 staff volunteers from Cathay Pacific took part in a UNICEF-led field visit this July to Birgunj and Kathmandu in Nepal. The team saw at first-hand how passenger donations were effectively transformed into disaster recovery needs. With many homes and schools having been destroyed by the earthquakes, UNICEF immediately set up Temporary Learning Centres to provide children with safe environments in which to learn.
Cabin Crew member Tara Tjhang, who was part of the Cathay Pacific volunteer team, said: “It was a humbling, yet very encouraging experience to meet and interact with those children whose lives have been touched through UNICEF’s projects. It is meaningful to know that the simple task of distributing the Change for Good envelope during our flights makes a difference in many people’s lives.”
An average of one month’s proceeds from Change for Good raised in 2015 has also been donated to the Cathay Pacific Wheelchair Bank, a charity set up in 1996 to improve the mobility of Hong Kong children suffering from severe neuromuscular diseases.
© UNICEF/UNI182804/Noorani © UNICEF/UNI196499/Baddoo
(Left) - Young children collect clean water from a water point at a UNICEF health and sanitation programme in Saravane province, the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
(Middle) - Pupils of a local school supported by UNICEF in Ghana.
(Right) - In July 2016, Cathay Pacific volunteers visited a Temporary Learning Centre to witness how donations have helped provide a safe learning environment for children in Nepal.
About Change for Good
Cathay Pacific and UNICEF HK have been running the Change for Good inflight fundraising programme since 1991. Travellers on Cathay Pacific flights are encouraged to donate any spare change they have – in any currency – to UNICEF when returning from their journeys. The money collected is used to fund UNICEF’s programmes helping deprived women and children in more than 150 developing countries around the world.
About Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific Airways is a Hong Kong-based airline offering scheduled passenger and cargo services to nearly 200 destinations in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe and Africa, using a fleet of more than 140 wide-body aircraft. The company is a member of the Swire group and is a public company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Dragonair is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific, and the airline also has a 60% stake in AHK Air Hong Kong Ltd, an all-cargo carrier operating regional express freight services. Cathay Pacific has made substantial investments to develop Hong Kong as one of the world's leading global transportation hubs. The airline is a founder member of the oneworld global alliance.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.