Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) and its passengers enabled the refurbishment of 20 village houses and other facilities at SOS Children’s Village in Bawana, near Delhi.
During a ceremony on Wednesday, the newly renovated village, reconstructed with the support from SWISS and donations made by passengers aboard SWISS flights, was officially inaugurated. The ceremony was attended by SOS Children’s Villages’ management and a delegation from SWISS. Through this initiative, 118 children in need got a new home at the SOS Children’s Village in Bawana. As a gift of all SWISS employees, the delegation handed over one bicycle for each village family. The village accommodates a total of 16 families, each family house offering a home to 8 to 10 children.
“We are happy to strengthen our association with SOS Children’s Villages that has enabled us to touch young lives and provide them with an opportunity of a better future. Today we are proud that through our small contribution we are able to foster 118 children and provide them a loving home”, said Christoph Ulrich, Head of Human Resources at SWISS. SWISS supports SOS Children’s Villages projects through donations, marketing partnerships, coin collections at airports in Switzerland and on board SWISS flights worldwide.
“SWISS has long supported the programs of SOS Children’s Villages around the world. We are thankful for this partnership that is generously supported by the airline’s customers and employees”, added Nicole Wollner, Head of Marketing and Member of the Board of Directors SOS Children’s Villages Switzerland.
In addition to the donations for the refurbishment of the houses, the SWISS staff personnel raised funds under the SWISS’s in-house fundraising drive “Bikes for India” and gifted 41 bicycles to the children and families in the SOS Children’s Villages in Bawana, Faridabad and Greenfield near Faridabad. Under this campaign, the amount initially raised by the SWISS staff personnel was doubled by SWISS.
“Lufthansa Group has been in India for over half a century and India is an important market for the group airlines. As part of our social commitment, Lufthansa Group will continue to focus on humanitarian activities in partnership with all the airlines staff Foundations”, added Wolfgang Will, Senior Director South Asia, Lufthansa Group Airlines.
SWISS and SOS Children’s Villages Switzerland have a long-time partnership and are collaborating for more than 15 years now. A key element of the cooperation is the on-board coin collection of SWISS. Passengers are given the opportunity to donate money to assist families in SOS Children’s Villages at various SWISS destinations around the world. This has helped to finance new SOS family houses in Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania), Phuket (Thailand) and in India (Bawana) during the recent years.
SOS Children’s Villages all over the world are integrated with local communities and work to support children at risk through a flexible range of services in care, education, health and emergency response. At present, SOS Children’s Villages is active in over 130 countries with over 500 SOS Children’s Villages and 400 SOS Youth Facilities striving for the welfare of the children in need of care and protection. In India, the organization caters to over 24,000 children and there are 32 SOS Children’s Villages in 22 states in India.