26 Aug 2015
Cathay Pacific Airways and the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) today announced that a total of HK$11.3 million was donated by passengers to the Change for Good inflight fundraising programme in 2014. Since the launch of the programme in Hong Kong, Change for Good has been successful in converting spare coins and notes into life-saving materials and services to improve the lives of vulnerable children worldwide, including those threatened by Ebola in West Africa, malnutrition in Cambodia, and exploitation in Vietnam.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said: “Cathay Pacific and UNICEF HK have enjoyed a long and successful partnership. Over the past 24 years, more than HK$155 million has been collected through the Change for Good programme. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our passengers for their generous contributions and to our staff for their ongoing support. As an international airline, we are pleased with our involvement in this meaningful programme, which supports UNICEF’s work to help underprivileged children around the world.”
The programme has received continued support from passengers travelling across Cathay Pacific’s global network. The majority of the donations in 2014 were given in Hong Kong dollars, US dollars, Taiwanese dollars, Japanese yen and renminbi, although more than 30 different currencies - including the Sri Lankan rupee, Jordanian dinar and Mongolian tugrik – were collected in total, highlighting the truly international nature of Change for Good.
Cathay Pacific staff have given strong support to Change for Good over the years, both on the ground and in the air. Each year, a number of the airline’s staff take part in a UNICEF-led field trip where they see at first hand how the spare change raised through the programme can help to improve numerous young lives. Moved and inspired by what they saw, around half the staff who took part in the last field trip have been giving up their spare time to count donations – a huge task given the number of coins and notes donated and the different currencies involved.
UNICEF HK Chairman, Ms Judy Chen expressed her gratitude for Cathay Pacific’s support which enables UNICEF to be active in humanitarian emergencies and provide long-term assistance to children in over 150 developing countries. “Apart from the HK$11.3 million supporting UNICEF to save children’s lives, help children reach their full potential and protect them from abuse and exploitation, Change for Good also supports UNICEF to work before, during and after disasters. I sincerely hope that more people can join us in creating a difference for children by donating to Change for Good.”
Besides helping children worldwide, an average of one month’s proceeds from Change for Good is donated to the Cathay Pacific Wheelchair Bank, a charity set up in 1996 to improve the mobility of Hong Kong children suffering from severe neuromuscular diseases.