At the Hong Kong Committee of UNICEF 25th Anniversary celebration event today, Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar announced the latest donation to “Change for Good” and pledged that the airline would continue to support UNICEF’s good work.
“The partnership between our airline and UNICEF has been a long and fruitful one, and the programme has been a tremendous success. We at Cathay Pacific are very proud of ‘Change for Good’ and we’ll continue to work closely with UNICEF – a loyal and very trusted partner – to bring help and support to those who really need it.”
Cathay Pacific was specially acknowledged for its long-term support for UNICEF through “Change for Good”. Ms Judy Chen, Chairman, Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF said: “The road ahead for children is certainly challenging, with grave global difficulties including natural disasters, armed conflicts, the worst effects of climate change and economic problems. We are delighted to continue partnering with Cathay Pacific to support all UNICEF offices worldwide to build a better world for children across the globe.”
Most of the money raised through the inflight fundraising programme goes to support UNICEF’s projects worldwide. Meanwhile, an average of one month’s proceeds from the programme will go 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.
Examples of UNICEF projects supported by “Change for Good” in 2010 include a school expansion and sanitation project in Ethiopia, and a maternity health project for newborn children in Kenya. These two projects were initiated following the UNICEF field visits to the two countries by a number of Cathay Pacific staff volunteers last year, with each receiving a budget of US$300,000 (HK$2,340,000) to support their work.
The Ethiopia project aims to improve access to quality and relevant basic education with a safe water supply for 4,750 children – half of them girls - in the Somali region, where insufficient access to basic primary education and gender inequity prevail. Meanwhile, in Kenya a maternity health project was identified to benefit 480,000 women aged 15-49 years and 80,000 newborn children through upgrading the health facilities and improving the quality and amount of health services offered.
On top of the HK$12.3 million raised, around HK$1.5 million collected from passengers on Cathay Pacific and Dragonair flights between 23 April and 7 May 2010 through “Change for Good” was allocated to support UNICEF’s emergency relief work in the quake zones of Yushu in Qinghai, China. These inflight donations and around HK$1 million donated by staff from Cathay Pacific and its subsidiaries were matched by the Swire Group Charitable Trust and Cathay Pacific Group respectively, totalling HK$5 million to help UNICEF address the needs of more than 10,000 children in Yushu.
About “Change for Good”
Cathay Pacific and UNICEF 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 to UNICEF when returning from their journeys. The money collected is used to fund UNICEF’s programmes helping underprivileged children in more than 150 developing countries around the world.