TORONTO — More travel industry companies are stepping up with support for Ukraine.
Here’s a look at what Transat and AmaWaterways are doing to assist those impacted by the conflict.
Transat A.T. Inc., its employees and customers are supporting the humanitarian efforts of SOS Children’s Villages in Ukraine. The company is launching a fundraising campaign to assist SOS Children’s Villages, its long-time partner, that has rapidly scaled up its response in Ukraine to meet the critical needs of some 500,000 vulnerable children and families affected by the conflict.
Transat President and CEO, Annick Guérard, says SOS Children’s Villages is responding to the immediate critical needs in Ukraine by providing safe shelter, food items, medical supplies, hygiene kits, education materials, as well as psychosocial and mental health support. SOS is also working with other humanitarian agencies to assist and reunify children who have been separated from their families. SOS Children’s Villages has been helping children and families in Ukraine since 2003.
Transat is strengthening its commitment to SOS Children’s Villages by contributing $25,000 to this campaign. Transat’s outreach involves Transat employees, as well as the 2,000 travel counsellors who work at the 300 or so travel agencies that make up the TDC distribution network.
Air Transat passengers can also make a donation onboard flights, a collection made possible by the engagement of its crews.
Customers and the general public can also donate in support of the organization’s emergency response plan on the SOS Children’s Villages portal dedicated to this fundraising campaign at http://support.
“This conflict is shattering the lives of millions of innocent people, especially children, and that resonates deeply with us,” says Guérard.
“We have always been strongly committed to the protection of children and we are eager to support SOS Children’s Villages’ emergency response to those internally displaced in Ukraine, as well those Ukrainians who have fled the country. We invite our teams, our customers and the public to demonstrate their strongest support for the Ukrainian people, whose needs are immense, by joining us in this gesture of solidarity.”
Says SOS Children’s Villages Canada President and CEO Thomas Bauer: “SOS Children’s Villages was founded to support children who lost everything during the Second World War in Europe, and now works in more than 130 countries. Beyond providing shelter and food, SOS Children’s Villages focuses on building the trust and warmth of strong human connections. In all things we are on the side of children. We will continue to protect children from the horror of war.”
Transat has supported numerous humanitarian operations by SOS Children’s Villages and other charitable organizations in emergency situations over the years, including in Canada, Haiti and other countries where Transat operates.
AmaWaterways’ Vice-president, Strategic Alliances, Brenda Kyle, says the war in Ukraine has created a worldwide call to support humanitarian efforts for the women and children that have fled their homes seeking safe refuge in other countries.
“It was important to us to provide support to those affected and through collaboration with the Port of Amsterdam and other volunteer organizations in the Netherlands, AmaWaterways has made available a river cruise vessel to provide temporary accommodations for refugees arriving into Amsterdam,” says Kyle.
The AmaWaterways’ ship is not committed to current operations and has been docked next to another vessel that will be providing the necessary food services. The first families, made up primarily of women and children, arrived on March 21.