|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||29 June 2012|
Cathay Pacific Airways and the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) today announced that more than HK$12.9 million was raised through "Change for Good", the airline's inflight fundraising programme, in the 2011 programme period. Since the programme was launched in 1991, more than HK$120 million has been donated by passengers to support UNICEF programmes that help underprivileged children in more than 150 developing countries around the world.
At a cheque presentation ceremony to UNICEF HK today, Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar announced the latest donation to "Change for Good" and stressed that the airline will continue to support UNICEF's good work.
Speaking at the event, Mr Slosar said: "The partnership between Cathay Pacific and UNICEF HK has been a tremendous success. We are very happy to continue this long association because we know that every dollar donated to 'Change for Good' will be put to very good use. We are very grateful to our passengers for the continued generosity they have shown over the past 21 years."
Acknowledging the continued support provided by Cathay Pacific, Ms Judy Chen, Chairman of UNICEF HK, said: "We have been striving for 'Zero Child Sufferings' with Cathay Pacific's help for many years. Even if passengers just donate small coins or notes, the 'Change for Good' programme can turn these into life-saving materials that can make a big difference in children's lives. We greatly appreciate Cathay Pacific's long-term and wholehearted support, and believe that if we work hand in hand, we will achieve our 'zero' goal one day."
Most of the money raised through the inflight fundraising programme goes to support UNICEF's projects worldwide for improving the lives of underprivileged women and children. An average of one month's proceeds from the programme is donated to the Cathay Pacific Wheelchair Bank - an initiative set up in 1996 - to improve the mobility of Hong Kong children suffering from severe neuromuscular diseases.
About HK$2,340,000 (US$300,000) from the "Change for Good" donation this year will be used to fund UNICEF's maternal and child health care programme in the three poorest districts in the Luangnamtha Province of Laos, which holds the third highest infant and child mortality rates among the country's 17 provinces.
With the donations it receives, UNICEF will be able to launch an integrated maternal and child healthcare outreach project in Luangnamtha which aims to offer basic health care and health education for women and children in remote communities. It is estimated that 19,807 women and 13,252 children will benefit from maternal, neonatal, child health and nutrition services, representing at least 80 per cent of children and women living in the three districts.
The Laos project is a continuation of the support given by 24 Cathay Pacific staff volunteers, who took part in a UNICEF field trip to Laos earlier this year to see at first-hand how passengers' donations are put to good use. They learned about critical issues relating to children's growth and development such as malnutrition, insufficient basic healthcare, poor sanitation and child exploitation.
Join the "Believe in Zero, Change for Good" Photo Movement on Facebook
To further boost the "Change for Good" programme, Cathay Pacific and UNICEF HK today launched the "Believe in Zero, Change for Good" Photo Movement on Facebook. From today until 12 July, members of the public can help to spread the belief that "Zero Child Sufferings" can be achieved by taking photos featuring "zero" in any shape or form.
During the period, all photos featuring "zero" uploaded to the "Believe in Zero" website (www.ibelieveinzero.org.hk) will also be exhibited on UNICEF HK's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/UNICEFHK) for the public to view. UNICEF HK and Cathay Pacific will select the photos that best convey the message of "Believe in Zero Child Sufferings" from among the 10 photos with the most "likes". The best entry will receive two round-trip Economy Class tickets from Hong Kong to Tokyo on Cathay Pacific, while three other outstanding entries will receive a Cathay Pacific Premium Series 777-300ER Asia's world city model (1:200).
The results will be announced on UNICEF HK's "Believe in Zero" website and official Facebook page on 16 July.
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 underprivileged women and children in more than 150 developing countries around the world.
|Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar (second from left) and Director Service Delivery Philippe de Gentile-Williams (far right) presented the "Change for Good" donation cheque for HK$12.9 million to UNICEF HK Chairman Judy Chen (second from right), Vice-chairman Leonie Ki (centre) and Chairman of Fundraising Committee Gilbert Mo (far left).|
|Cathay Pacific has pledged to continue supporting UNICEF's good work through the "Change for Good" programme. In addition to promoting the programme inflight, an internal publicity campaign was held to raise awareness among the airline's staff.|
|Part of the "Change for Good" donation in 2012 will be used to fund a UNICEF integrated maternal and child healthcare outreach project in Laos.|
|Twenty-four Cathay Pacific staff went on a field trip to Laos to see how "Change for Good" donations are used to help underprivileged women and children in the country. The volunteers helped out at a health centre that provides isolated villagers with life-saving vaccinations, dietary supplements and pre-natal health checks.|
|Photos are available to download as part of this release from the Press Room in the About Us section of the Cathay Pacific's website.|
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