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Russian Federation: "Change for good"

© Vladimir Maksimov/"Best Pictures"/UNICEF/2005
BA team with Carel de Rooy, UNICEF Representative in Russia, in Maria's Children studio in Moscow looking at the painting made by children

This week, a group of British Airways staff members has visited Moscow within the framework of the “Change for Good” Programme that British Airways has been running jointly with UNICEF for 11 years. The mechanism for collecting money is as follows: during the flight, BA cabin crew make an announcement about the cooperation project with UNICEF and propose that passengers should “get rid of” any small change that they carry in their pockets by contributing it towards programmes to benefit needy children. About £20 million has been collected over 11 years under the Change for Good programme, and the raised funds have been spent to provide assistance to children in some 50 countries.

1,800 British Airways staff members, who are involved in the programme, bear an honoured name of “champions”. It was the first visit to Moscow for some of Change for Good champions. They met with children from Moscow children’s homes and boarding schools who attend the rehabilitation art center “Maria’s Children”. It was only recently that the art studio has received UNICEF financial support thanks to the funds raised by British Airways.

The goal of the project supported by UNICEF is to assist children from dysfunctional families and children with disabilities in developing their creativity, independent thinking, decision-making abilities and finding friends.

The BA delegation accompanied by students from the art studio also visited a boarding school for deaf and mute children in the town of Sergiyev Posad. The art students mixed with children from the boarding school and painted a mural on one of the walls in a lounge. The guests were dressed in clown costumes to amuse the boarding school children.

Jess Hall and Lucy Greenwood, BA flight attendants, were deeply moved to see how the children from the art studio “Maria’s Children” were assisting their friends at the boarding school. When commenting on this visit, Andrew Hammons, BA Regional Commercial Manager for Eastern Europe, stressed the significance of the Change for Good programme and cooperation with UNICEF and said: “Children from the art studio “Maria’s Children” are just fabulous! What they do is very important!”



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