Fiji Airways and UNICEF Announce $72,000 Partnership

Two Primary Schools to get improved Water and Sanitation Facilities

NADI, July 12, 2013 – Fiji Airways has announced a new partnership with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to improve water and sanitation needs in two primary schools – Lautoka Primary School and Ratu Saimoni Memorial in Fiji.

The airline, through its charity arm ‘Wings of Hope’, will donate just over F$70,000 to UNICEF to undertake much needed improvements to the sanitation facilities of these schools. The project will be managed through the Ministry of Education.

‘Wings of Hope’ is funded through various means, including staff fundraising initiatives, corporate contributions and ‘Cash for Kids’ – a Fiji Airways’ onboard program that allows passengers to contribute unused foreign currency on its flights.
Fiji Airways Acting CEO Aubrey Swift said, “At the heart of our airline’s new identity are symbols which stand for the goodness of our people, the way we work together, the cooperation and caring of all Fijians, and our love of Fiji.  In keeping with our airline’s values, it’s only fitting that our charity, ‘Wings of Hope’, provides ‘wings of progress’ to Fiji’s most precious resource – its children.  By supporting the great work that UNICEF and the Ministry of Education are doing, we are confident that the children of the two schools will have a healthier environment in which to learn and grow.”

Outgoing UNICEF Pacific Representative, Dr. Isiye Ndombi said, “This assistance is essential for ensuring the right to basic education. Unhygienic schools and communities lead to health problems, low school attendance and poor educational performance. This partnership is the start of wonderful things to come”.

“We appreciate that a regionally renowned corporate body like Fiji Airways takes child development just as seriously as we do.”

UNICEF and the Ministry of Education chose to focus on a select number of primary schools in urgent need of assistance, particularly in water and sanitation. These primary schools were identified as needing functioning toilets, adequate water supply and working taps.

Lautoka Primary School was the first to receive funding ($FJD 6,600) from the pool of funds to improve their water and sanitary facilities. Ratu Saimoni Memorial will receive the remaining funds.

“The assistance from Fiji Airways’ ‘Wings of Hope’ initiative has the potential to ‘break the cycle’ of unsanitary habits.  Children who grow up in schools that promote hygiene will grow up to be adults that demand the same healthy standards for themselves and their families,” noted Dr. Ndombi.

Mr. Swift thanked Fiji Airways’ customers for their contributions to the ‘Wings of Hope’ charity chest, saying it was the compassion and generosity of airline guests that made the size of this contribution possible.

‘Wings of Hope’ has donated more than $F138, 000 to support the children of Fiji in the last year alone.  In addition to UNICEF, other recipients of ‘Wings of Hope’ funding include the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND), Nadi Hospital, Treasure Home (home for orphaned children) and various school projects.


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