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It’s easy to take the opportunities and comforts we’ve been afforded in life for granted. But, when you see first-hand the plight of children like those at the 42KM School in Northern Thailand, it really puts things in perspective. The school, named for its geographic location some 42 kilometers south of Mae Sot, Thailand, provides much needed education to 400 children of Burmese refugees and migrants, often without proper documents to attend Thai public schools, who would otherwise grow up uneducated.
My colleague and I recently had the opportunity to visit two nearby orphanages, refugee communities and the school, which are supported by the Spanish NGO Colabora Birmania, and we were deeply moved by the experience. The welcome we received from the enthusiastic smiling children was heart-warming, but at the same time, we were taken aback by just how much of a struggle they have endured. These mixed emotions provided us with the drive needed to distribute Amadeus employee donations collected at an Amadeus function.
A key component of social responsibility for Amadeus is to leverage our technological expertise to foster knowledge and skills transfer projects focused on education for underserved communities. To this end, the employees’ monetary donations raised at an auction of the children’s artwork at the same function, will be used to build and furnish a computer lab at the 42KM School, aptly named the ‘Amadeus Lab’. The lab will help teach the children basic computer skills with the aim of providing them with the means to overcome the cycle of poverty through education.
For Amadeus, true long-term business sustainability requires not only considering commercial needs, but also making a positive impact socially and our support of Colabora Birmania is just one of hundreds of projects and initiatives we carry out all over the world every year. You can learn more about our sustainability initiatives in the Amadeus Global Report 2014 and by visiting our CSR map.
I encourage everyone to have a look at the Colabora Birmania website for insights about their projects, to contribute to their much needed humanitarian work, and to find ways to incorporate CSR elements into our daily lives at work, at home, with colleagues, friends and family.