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Qatar Airways Making a Difference in Sichuan

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Thursday, 17 June 2010

Senior executives from Qatar Airways were special guests at the official opening of a school in Sichuan province, central China, where re-building efforts continue in the aftermath of the 2008 earthquake which devastated the region.

The newly-constructed school, a joint project with China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF), was officially named the Qatar Airways Hope School following a ceremony attended by local officials, CYDF members, airline executives and students.

In the weeks following the 8.0 magnitude earthquake which wiped out villages and towns throughout Sichuan province, Qatar Airways announced a partnership with CYDF to support its Project Hope programme aimed at building schools across rural China.

The airline pledged to donate funds to build a school in Guangyuan in the north of the province, as well as erect temporary structures for interim learning centres during the construction of the permanent school which caters for 500 students.

In total, over 7,000 school buildings were destroyed in the earthquake, and almost 5,000 lives were lost in Guangyuan alone.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that the school in Guangyuan represented a new beginning for hundreds of children who had suffered great loss.

We are humbled to be a part of the re-building process in Sichuan province, and Qatar Airways wishes that all children who are educated at this new school enjoy a bright and prosperous future, he said. The 512 earthquake created devastation on a massive scale and moved many to action. Qatar Airways wanted to contribute something substantial and long lasting to help those most vulnerable and most in need. We decided to support the building of the Qatar Airways Hope School as a means to alleviate the suffering of the children and assist in the rebuilding of their lives ... The Project Hope School will be a lasting monument to Qatar Airways commitment to China and the Chinese people.

The school opening ceremony was attended by Qatar Airways Singapore-based Senior Vice President Commercial East Asia & South West Pacific Marwan Koleilat and Qatar Airways Country Manager Greater China Mr Woo Yew Seong. The two had travelled specially to celebrate with the schools new pupils.

Receiving artwork from the schoolchildren, Koleilat said, Being able to see children study in these new classrooms is an extremely gratifying moment for me. This is what Qatar Airways set out to achieve two years ago when we committed to Project Hope, and now these kids will have the opportunity to learn as well as follow their dreams and become valued members of this community.

Qatar Airways currently operates 23 scheduled flights from across four cities in China - Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong - every week to the airlines operational hub at Doha International Airport in the State of Qatar.

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