At a cheque presentation ceremony to UNICEF HK yesterday, Cathay Pacific Chief Operating Officer Ivan Chu stressed that the airline would continue to support UNICEF’s good work.
Mr Chu said: “UNICEF HK is Cathay Pacific’s long-term charity partner. The ‘Change for Good’ programme has been a tremendous success. We are grateful to our passengers for the continued generosity they have shown over the past two decades. We would also like to express our gratitude to all Cathay Pacific staff who have contributed to the smooth running of this meaningful programme as well as making their own donations and volunteering in field trips and related work.”
Acknowledging the continued support provided by Cathay Pacific, Ms Judy Chen, Chairman of UNICEF HK, said: “We would like to express our profound gratitude to Cathay Pacific for its unfailing support to help UNICEF reduce the suffering of children in the world. The ‘Change for Good’ programme fully demonstrates the power of pooling resources; it turns spare change into positive change in children’s lives worldwide. With support from Cathay Pacific, we will accelerate the child protection efforts in Vietnam next year to save and improve the lives of more vulnerable children, such as street children. We believe that together the goal of ‘zero suffering’ is achievable.”
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$2.34 million (US$300,000) from the “Change for Good” donations this year will be used to support the child protection programme in four selected provinces in Vietnam. The programme aims to develop a comprehensive child protection system to respond to emerging vulnerabilities to neglect, abuse, violence, and exploitation at all levels in Vietnam. With the donations it receives, UNICEF will be able to develop Social Work Service Centres and its child protection work across the four provinces and up to national level. The centres will provide direct assistance and service to vulnerable children, in particular street children, child labourers suffering abuse, exploitation and child trafficking.
The programme is a continuation of the support given by 25 Cathay Pacific staff volunteers, who took part in a UNICEF field trip to Ninh Thuan province of Vietnam earlier this year to see first-hand how passengers’ donations are put to good use. They learned about critical issues relating to children’s growth and development such as education, malnutrition, insufficient basic healthcare, poor sanitation and child exploitation. Ninh Thuan province will also benefit from the above-mentioned child protection programme.
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.