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British Airways staff visit Ukraine to see how their support is helping children living in institutions

© UNICEF 2009
Change for Good ® envelope - UK

Kyiv, 18 February 2010 - British Airways staff have been visiting UNICEF projects in Ukraine this week to see how, through the Change for Good partnership between British Airways and UNICEF, their support has been helping to provide loving foster homes for children living with HIV who are currently living in institutions.

The visit saw British Airways staff meet with parents and guardians who have been trained to provide the appropriate care that a child living with HIV needs. The group also met several foster families who are helping these children to grow up in a caring family environment.

In March 2007, the Change for Good Programme donated over £285,000 (3.88 million Ukrainian Hryvnias) to UNICEF for a three year project to improve care for children affected by HIV.  The funding is helping to prevent children living with HIV from being placed into institutions and also developing a family based care system for HIV affected children who are already living in institutions.

The number of pregnant mothers who are HIV-positive in Ukraine is gradually increasing by 20% - 30% every year. In 2008, the HIV prevalence in pregnant women reached 0.55%, one of the highest in Europe. As a result of this rise, there has been an increase in the number of babies born HIV positive. To date since 1987, close to 20,000 children have been born to pregnant HIV-positive mothers, of which 2,000 are also HIV-positive and over 6,000 are too young to have their status confirmed.

The UNICEF project that is funded by Change for Good aims to challenge negative perceptions and stereotypes of HIV and AIDS and highlight the importance of providing a loving home for children affected by HIV. UNICEF is working closely with the Ukrainian Government to reduce the number of HIV-positive mothers who abandon their children at a young age, as well as aiming to improve support for those children affected by HIV already living in institutions, through encouraging and training parents to become foster families.

British Airways Ukraine Country Manager, Svetlana Ignolikova, accompanying the visit, said, “I am delighted that British Airways is able to support this project and the money is providing much needed assistance to children with HIV and their families. On behalf of everyone at British Airways I would like to thank all our customers who have donated their spare currency to the Change for Good programme. ”

Set up in 1994 to collect spare foreign currency from customers travelling on British Airways flights, Change for Good in the UK has raised more than £27 million for UNICEF’s work to support some of the world’s most vulnerable children in 58 countries. In total the programme has donated nearly £500,000 (6.8 million Ukrainian Hryvnias) to projects in Ukraine.

UNICEF’s representative in Ukraine, Yukie Mokuo added, “Change for Good is a critical donation as it was one of the very first to support children with HIV in Ukraine. As growing number of HIV-positive pregnant women is a newly emerging issue in country, we hope this contribution will trigger more support to help Ukrainian children affected by HIV.”

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For further information please contact:

UNICEF Ukraine: Veronika Vashchenko, Communication Officer, vvashchenko@unicef.org, +38.044.2542450
British Airways PR, Ukraine: Ekaterina Mahnivskaya, PR Manager, Katerina.mahnivskaya@keycommunications.ua

EDITORS NOTES:

About Change for Good:
Change for Good is a global UNICEF fundraising initiative. The partnership with British Airways, which is the UK element of the initiative, has raised over £27m (over 367 million Ukrainian Hryvnias) for children since its launch in 1994, thanks to BA customers and staff who donate their spare change to UNICEF. During flights Change for Good videos are screened and cabin announcements are made in an effort to promote the programme. Millions of vulnerable children around the world have been helped as a result of the collaboration

About Change for Good in Ukraine:
Change for Good has funded projects in Ukraine since 1999 and has donated nearly £500,000 to Ukraine in total.

About British Airways:

  • British Airways is one of the world’s largest international airlines, carrying more than 30 million passengers around the world per year.
  • The airline's two main operating bases are at London's two main airports – Heathrow and Gatwick, with Heathrow being the world's busiest international airport. 
  • British Airways has a worldwide route network that covers more than 700 destinations, together with one world partners. 

About UNICEF:
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 150 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF opened its office in Kyiv in 1997. More information about UNICEF activities in Ukraine at www.unicef.org.ua

 

 
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