Of the total donation in 2017, Cathay Pacific has designated HK$2.73 million to support UNICEF’s Schools for Asia programme in Myanmar and India. The thematic programme, which aligns with one of the airline’s key community engagement endeavours of promoting youth development, aims to provide quality and sustainable learning for children. There is a particular focus on disadvantaged children who are less likely to receive education because of their gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic location or economic circumstance.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Mr Rupert Hogg said: “I am deeply touched by the overwhelming generosity of our passengers in enabling us to raise nearly HK$190 million over the years of the Change for Good programme. Every child deserves a fair chance in life but sadly this still isn’t the case for millions of children around the world. The money raised will make a big difference to a great many young people around Asia and beyond, and for that I am truly thankful. There is nothing more important than helping to improve the lives of those who are born into disadvantage, through absolutely no fault of their own”
Ms Judy Chen, Chairman of UNICEF HK, expressed her appreciation for the airline’s support. She said: “We are grateful to Cathay Pacific for their unfailing support all these years, making Change for Good a successful programme and a good example of corporate social responsibility in Hong Kong. This partnership has engaged millions of Cathay Pacific passengers in contributing to our global mission of giving every child a chance to survive and thrive.”
Volunteer work in mainland China and Nepal
This year, 24 Cathay Pacific employees, accompanied by UNICEF HK staff, conducted two field trips to mainland China and Nepal to learn about UNICEF’s programmes concerning early childhood education, non-formal education and child protection.
In Guizhou province, the Cathay Pacific volunteer team witnessed how the Schools for Asia donation is being used to promote improved conditions and facilities to nurture a child-friendly school environment for the healthy development of children. The donation has definitely made a positive difference to both students and their parents.
While in Nepal, the volunteers learnt how UNICEF’s alternative education programme is giving a second chance for out-of-school and marginalised adolescent girls who cannot afford to continue their education. The programme has greatly empowered these young women, especially in highly conservative communities.
The remaining 2017 donation will be dedicated to UNICEF’s regular programmes to make long-term development plans for children around the world, enhancing the strategic outcomes of health, education, child protection, nutrition, social inclusion, water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as HIV/AIDS protection. The donation will also allow UNICEF to respond immediately to deliver life-saving supplies to emergency appeals and humanitarian crises.