DUBLIN 12 April 2017 – 1.4 million children are at risk of a frightening food crisis in Africa and the Middle East. Aer Lingus and UNICEF came together at Dublin Airport today to launch a special collection for children affected by the famine crisis in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen.
In 2017, Aer Lingus and UNICEF’s unique partnership for children is 20 years old. In Dublin today, the airline presented a cheque for over a million euro to the NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation). Rugby legend and UNICEF Ireland Ambassador Donncha O’Callaghan, who has himself travelled to see the work the aid organisation is doing in South Sudan, was on hand to accept the cheque. He took the opportunity to speak to staff about his deep concern for the children of South Sudan, where famine has now officially been declared in two States.
Since 1997, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund has received $20.5 million from Aer Lingus. Last year, cabin crew at the airline raised almost €1.1 million (€1,065,779) for vulnerable children everywhere.
As part of the ‘Change for Good’ campaign, cabin crew offer passengers on board transatlantic flights the opportunity to donate leftover currency to UNICEF. A number of times a year additional special collections are held on all flights – this week (April 9th-17th), one of the busiest weeks in the year for Aer Lingus, is one of those collection weeks. Between now and Easter Monday cabin crew and passengers will be raising money for UNICEF’s Famine Appeal.
UNICEF Ireland’s Executive Director Peter Power said: “The €20 million Aer Lingus has raised for children has literally changed the world. What is really special about this partnership is the incredible effort Aer Lingus cabin crews make on our behalf. I would like to express my gratitude to them, even as we ask them to redouble their efforts on behalf of the 1.4 million children at risk of famine.”
Aer Lingus Director of Communications Declan Kearney said: “Aer Lingus is proud of its longstanding partnership with UNICEF Ireland and of the contribution our travelling guests have made to helping the most vulnerable children around the world. In this 20th anniversary year of our ‘Change for Good’ Appeal we are keen to again make an impact to better the lives of children. Keep an eye out for cabin crew offering opportunities to donate to UNICEF on all Aer Lingus flights over the Easter weekend.”
Former rugby International Donncha O’Callaghan took time out of his busy training schedule with Worcester Warriors to fly in to Dublin Airport and accept the cheque on behalf of the aid organisation:
“As a UNICEF Ambassador, I have travelled the world to meet children helped by our programmes. As a parent, I have felt just a tiny fraction of the fear and hope their own parents must feel as they attempt to find safety and a future for their precious little ones. But I have also seen the resilience and bravery of children who face enormous obstacles in their lives. They need our help as they try to overcome the challenges they face; Aer Lingus cabin crew are responding in a brilliant way to that, raising money in an original and professional way. I want to thank them most sincerely for their extraordinary efforts”.
Speaking at the cheque presentation, Aer Lingus cabin crew member and UNICEF Ambassador Helen Condon explained why she got involved with the programme:
“Having worked as cabin crew in Aer Lingus for 11 years, I have participated in the on board collections for the UNICEF ‘Change for Good’ Appeal over the years and have been really proud of Aer Lingus’ guests kindness and generosity in supporting vulnerable children in deprived parts of the world.
In this Aer Lingus’ 20th year anniversary with UNICEF Ireland, I was particularly keen to get more involved with this special partnership. I have recently returned from a field trip with my fellow Aer Lingus cabin crew Ambassadors to Rwanda and saw there, first-hand, the incredible impact our guests’ donations have made to communities there in helping to provide education, health care, immunisation, nutrition, water and sanitation.”
UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. UNICEF has been operating for 70 years.
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About Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, founded in 1936. It operates 62 aircraft on routes to destinations in the UK, Europe and North America and carries more than 12 million guests per annum. Aer Lingus is Ireland’s only 4-Star airline, awarded by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organisation. Its mission is to connect Ireland to the world and to become the leading value carrier operating across the North Atlantic. Its home base is Dublin Airport. Aer Lingus is a member of International Airlines Group (IAG), one of the world’s largest airline groups.
For more information about Aer Lingus, please contact:
Liz McNulty, Communications Specialist, Aer Lingus firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +353 1 886 2350 | Mob: +353 87 909 7228