- Post 04 March 2009
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Cathay Pacific Airways and UNICEF announced that more than HK$10 million was collected through “Change for Good”, the airline’s inflight fundraising programme, in the 2008 programme period. The money was raised by collecting spare change in many different currencies from passengers on Cathay Pacific flights.
Most of the money collected through “Change for Good” goes to UNICEF to help in its projects to improve the lives of underprivileged children around the world. Including the 2008 contribution, Cathay Pacific has donated more HK$91 million to the organisation over the past 18 years.
In addition to the donation to UNICEF, an average of one month’s proceeds from the inflight fundraising 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 neuromuscular diseases.
The announcement of this year’s “Change for Good” total was made at a press event in Festival Walk hosted by Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler and Vice-Chairman, Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF Dr. Maggie Koong. Also present was Hong Kong actress Karen Mok, who works as an Ambassador for the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Tony Tyler said: “Over the past 18 years we have been able to donate a significant sum of money to help UNICEF in its efforts to improve the lives of unprivileged children around the world. We would like to thank our passengers for their continued generosity in supporting the ‘Change for Good’ programme, and UNICEF for doing a fantastic job in putting those donations to such good use.”
UNICEF’s Maggie Koong said: “UNICEF attaches a lot of importance to the ‘Change For Good’ inflight fundraising programme. Passengers who donate their spare change in any currency will help to change the lives of children around the world. Small amounts of coins really add up to an impressive annual total, helping those in need.”
At today’s event, Karen Mok shared her experience of working with UNICEF and highlighted some of the important work the organisation does with the help of “Change for Good”. She urged local people to continue to support UNICEF’s work. Also present were a number of Cathay Pacific staff who took part in field trips to the Philippines and Cambodia organised by UNICEF in the past two years where they saw at first-hand how passengers’ currency donations are put to good use.
"By joining the trip to the Philippines I was able to see the valuable work UNICEF does to help children and their families in a mountain village, improving their lives through the provision of education and training, school equipment and improved hygiene," said flight attendant Lily Hung.
On Thursday, 12 February, 25 Cathay Pacific staff will go on the latest UNICEF fact-finding field trip, touring areas of Northern Thailand to learn about issues affecting children such as HIV/AIDS, early childhood development, pre-school education, basic health care and child protection.
Senior First Officer SK Tang, who is joining the 2009 field trip, said he is keen to know more about how the donations made on the flights he operated are being put to good use, "Putting your spare change in the ‘Change for Good’ envelope is just a small thing to do, but it can really help improve the lives of underprivileged children in a significant way."
The Cathay Pacific/UNICEF “Change for Good” Inflight Fundraising Programme
Since 1991, Cathay Pacific and UNICEF have been organising the “Change for Good” inflight fundraising programme, a programme designed to use travellers leftover foreign currency to help underprivileged children in over 150 developing countries.
On 1 July 1991, Cathay Pacific flight attendants began distributing UNICEF donation envelopes on all long-haul flights. In 1994, the fundraising appeal was extended to all routes in the Cathay Pacific network.
To mark the 50th anniversary of Cathay Pacific and UNICEF in 1996, both parties have signed a pioneering “Corporate Partnership for Children”, committing to work together to promote the protection, survival and development of children worldwide.
The Cathay Pacific Wheelchair Bank was also set up in the same year. Working with the Faculty of Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Prince of Wales Hospital, the Bank aims at raising funds to purchase specially adapted wheelchairs for children with neuromuscular diseases. From 1999 onwards, an average of one month’s proceeds from the inflight fundraising programme will be allocated to the Bank annually.
In October 2005, Cathay Pacific and UNICEF produced a brand new "Change for Good" inflight promotion video, starring UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Jackie Chan and Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF Ambassadors Charlie Young, Gigi Leung and Karen Mok.
Over the past 18 years, the airline has raised more than HK$91 million through the Change for Good programme.
|Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler and Ambassador for the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF Karen Mok urged local people to continue to support UNICEF’s vital work.|