SHANGHAI, Sept. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On International Charity Day, Trip.com reflects on its ongoing efforts to give back to the world, and how it can help more people in need moving forward.
This summer, Trip.com, an international online travel brand and a Ctrip Group company, sent volunteers abroad for the first time, to participate in a week-long charity program in the West African nation of Sierra Leone. The initiative marked Trip.com's first international volunteer project, and is indicative of the trajectory of the com pany's international charity efforts under CEO Jane Sun.
From July 7-15, four volunteers representing Trip.com visited Sierra Leone to support local communities in various ways, including supporting local mothers and infants at local clinics in the fight against malnutrition, providing educational assistance and laptops to local schools, promoting health awareness through sporting events, and raising environmental awareness through tree-planting activities.
"Everyone at Trip.com is a global citizen. In order to keep in touch with our philosophy of meaningful corporate social responsibility, it is crucial that we continue to give back to the world," says Ms. Jane Sun, CEO of Ctrip Group. "Sierra Leone is a long-term focus of ours, and we are committed to doing our part to ensure those in need are well-supported. As global citizens, we are all members of the same family. At Trip.com, it is our duty to help communities grow with us, and contribute to their safety, wellbeing and peaceful development."
Trip.com volunteers paid multiple visits to local clinics and numerous hospitals in Freetown to deliver and distribute Plumpy'Nut nutritional supplies, and assisted doctors and nurses at the country's only children's hospital, Ola During Children's Hospital. Trip.com volunteers were taught how to identify, monitor, and document malnutrition through the use of Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) tapes.
A steady flow of mothers and their infants streamed into the Freetown hospital in hope of receiving further attention. All children were given Plumpy'Nut by the volunteers and separated into groups according to the severity of their malnutrition. More than 20 children stayed in each ward, awaiting further monitoring and assistance.
Last year, Trip.com's donations of Plumpy'Nut peanut-based paste saved the lives of 2000 children in Sierra Leone. This year, Trip.com made a further donation of 1710 cartons of the Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) designed for the treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in children to charitable causes in Sierra Leone. Each carton will save the life of one child treated in hospitals in Freetown or the local clinics around Ponka Village.
Dr Amara Jambai, Chief Medical Officer at Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health and Sanitation said, "We would like to express our profound gratitude and appreciation for this timely donation, saving the lives of vulnerable children in our country. We will work towards maintaining this partnership."
One of the volunteers, Angus Yeung, Marketing Manager at Trip.com said, "After visiting Sierra Leone, one of the poorest countries on the planet, I understand the meaning of not taking things for granted. In Sierra Leone, food and clean water supply are in extreme shortage. Most of the kids we saw were extremely thin and suffered from malnutrition. Education is also a luxury for children, because the cost of study is a massive burden for their families. I am so proud of Trip.com for donating supplies of Plumpy'Nut, and taking action to help to save lives. We also donated computers, which will help the disadvantaged to realise their dreams. I hope that this charity program will influence more Trip.com staff to give back to society."
Another volunteer, Roxy Wen, Marketing Manager for Thailand at Trip.com said, "This is the first time that I realized the truth to the saying 'a meaningful trip can change a person's life', and Sierra Leone was definitely a turning point for me. I will never forget how these under-nourished kids stared at me with their innocent eyes. We could see how urgently the mothers needed the supplies of Plumpy'Nut to save their children. A doctor told me that if children take Plumpy'Nut for up to a month, they will be healthy and risk-free. It is inspiring to see Trip.com saving lives in Africa. We also sponsored a local school and social enterprise in Sierra Leone, giving kids the right to learn, and helping adults to build careers and support their families. I'm grateful to have been able to take action with Trip.com, to help make positive change in the world."
Education and local support
Trip.com made a total donation of 60 laptops to local schools in Ponka, which will allow students from Ponka Academy to receive lessons in computer science and coding. Laptops were also donated to Ponka Company, a local AI-driven technology company. This Ponka tech start-up not only provides global customers with AI, data and tech services, but also creates employment opportunities for local graduates. Furthermore, profits from Ponka Company go directly to Ponka Academy, in order to support local education.
During the trip, volunteers also visited Ponka Academy, a local primary school, where they provided children with educational supplies, clothes and stationery.
Ponka Academy will be adding a secondary school to its current campus and is currently undergoing expansion. Volunteers also helped with the expansion of the school, as well as renovation and decoration.
Environmental Awareness and Sporting Event
Trip.com volunteers planted trees to raise environmental awareness, and participated in sporting events, working toward promoting an active lifestyle and community spirit among students studying at Ponka Academy and the neighboring villages.
Having suffered from the turmoil of the Civil War until 2002, and then Ebola in 2014, Sierra Leone is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world and one of the poorest in Africa. Trip.com hope that its efforts in Sierra Leone will provide relief to those in need, and raise global awareness of the need for aid in the region.
Trip.com was founded upon the notion of growing with communities. Promoting harmonious development is at the core of the company's values. Under the leadership of Jane Sun, CEO of Trip.com, Trip.com is giving back to the community in more ways, and in more places than ever before.
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