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Every child needs a playground

Siam City Cement's INSEE Asa volunteers from the Saraburi plant, together with the Padang Mai community, build concrete playgrounds at the Border Patrol Police Khunying Prapai Sivakoses School, Omkoi District, Chiang Mai, to generate a volunteer spirit and use their expertise for the good of the community. This is a part of the group's CSR programme to support the community around its plant.

Foundation's grant to help women workers in China

In recognition of International Women's Day, the Western Union Foundation today announced a grant of US$125,000 (Bt4,040,875) to the humanitarian agency Mercy Corps.

The grant from the foundation will support the work of Mercy Corps, in collaboration with the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), to provide female workers in China with professional development and leadership skills training. The programme will set a basis for better life skills, such as budgeting and navigating workplace issues.

The grant is part of the Western Union Foundation's signature programme, Education for Better - a multi-year commitment to global education by supporting secondary, vocational and life skills' training programmes that provide financial opportunity for individuals, their families, and their communities.

"Education for Better provides help for education programmes in key markets, and leverages the strength of the Western Union Company's global network to achieve a tangible social impact on the communities and customers we serve," said Patrick Gaston, president of the Western Union Foundation.

"On International Women's Day, we are pleased to support the work of [these two organisations], as they help inspire the next generation of women in China to achieve their life goals and increase their economic potential."

Founded in 1979, Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency working in the world's toughest places. With a network of experienced professionals in more than 40 countries, Mercy Corps partners with local communities to put bold ideas into action to help people recover, to overcome hardship and build better lives.

The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, established in 1989, supports communities and individuals living in poverty. Its programmes are designed to help improve productivity, increase healthcare and other living standards, and facilitate sustainable social development. Since its founding, the CFPA has raised nearly 900 million yuan for more than 200 poverty reduction projects, directly helping more than 2 million poor across China.

In 2013, the Western Union Foundation committed more than $6.8 million to more than 95 NGOs in 31 countries, facilitating education, professional development and disaster relief programmes for individuals, families and communities in need.

Awarded for saving energy

Somkuon Somboonpun, left, first vice-president of general administration, Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Thailand), receives the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA)'s energy-saving award in the hotel and office-building category, from Somchai Roadrungwasinkul, right, acting governor of MEA, at Aksra Theatre King Power on March 3.

The award is given under the Energy Efficiency Improvement and Promotion for Buildings Programme, Level 1, organised by MEA. The programme recognises establishments which promote energy conservation and awareness of energy saving on a consistent basis.



Campaign to encourage responsible travel

"Your Actions Count - Be a Responsible Traveller," a global campaign to urge travellers to support the fight against trafficking, is being launched in Berlin during the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) with the support of Marriott International.

The campaign was created by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

It aims to raise awareness about the most common illicit goods and services tourists might be exposed to while travelling. It provides guidance to recognise possible situations of trafficking in persons, wildlife, cultural artifacts, illicit drugs and counterfeit goods, and invites travellers to take action through responsible consumer choices, such as alerting authorities to situations. A central focus is reaching out to young people, spreading the anti-trafficking message to future generations of travellers.

Marriott is among the first tourism companies to join in the campaign, promoting this important message among its millions of customers through digital and social media. "We know that our industry can play an important role in helping to stop trafficking by delivering this campaign message to the travelling public.

Marriott will share it with more than 80 million customers annually through reservation confirmation emails and our workforce in more than 70 countries. We invite other travel leaders to join us and the UN agencies in this critical effort," said Kathleen Matthews, Marriott's executive vice president and chief global communications and public affairs officer.

For 85 years, Marriott has claimed a commitment to responsible business, human rights, and uncompromising ethical and legal standards in all aspects of its business. The company supports and respects the protection of human rights within its sphere of influence and strives to conduct business operations accordingly. This includes standing against such tragedies as human trafficking and the exploitation of children. Marriott publishes its human rights policy and provides training on human rights, including the protection of children, for all associates worldwide.

Sustainability Forum to take place in Athens

Global Sustain has announced the Sustainability Forum 2014, a training, networking and professional development event scheduled for October 3, 2014 in Athens.

The organisation says during these challenging times, sustainability is more than ever needed since many of today's challenges are a complex mix of environmental, social and economic factors.

Global Sustain is again attempting to make such issues emerge and explore the future of sustainable business, by preparing a unique event for the third year in a row.

International speakers will take part, with fresh perspectives on sustainability issues and sharing their hands-on expertise and experience with delegates, through specialised workshops and plenary sessions.


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