Responsibility for our destinations
For Edelweiss, Corporate Responsibility does not stop at the Swiss border. In numerous places, ecosystems are not seen as a priority, and poverty is a reality in some of our holiday destinations. Ignoring these facts is no option for Edelweiss. We want to bring our responsible conduct to our holiday destinations and enhance our passengers’ awareness of core issues there.
help alliance - our cooperation partner
help alliance, the charity of the Lufthansa Group, supports people all over the world who lack the most basic necessities of life. The core focus is on school and vocational education as a key for effective poverty alleviation. But help alliance is also committed to other topics, including health, food, work and income.
Within the scope of our collaboration with help alliance, we are introducing the OnBoardCollection on our flights. Our passengers have the opportunity to donate their left-over foreign coins or make donations in Swiss francs during their flight – in keeping with the motto “small change – big help”. Lean administrative structures, funded by generous donations of the Lufthansa Group, allow for 100% of the donations (after currency conversion) to go straight towards the project work.
It is very important for us to assume responsibility at our holiday destinations. This is why donations made are currently benefitting the following projects:
Renovation of a primary school in Sri Lanka
As part of our social commitment this year, Edelweiss (EDW) has joined forces with help alliance to support a primary school in southern Sri Lanka (Tangalle).
Built after the devastating 2004 tsunami, the “FRANGIPANI” primary school encompasses 170 pupils in two age groups (aged 3-4 and 4-5) who are taught by ten teachers in seven classrooms. Renovation work became necessary in summer 2019, in order to keep the school running, including repairs to the roof, the doors, the walls and the school's sanitary facilities. The renovation work was carried out by local craftsmen and financed by EDW/help alliance. Three pilots, eleven cabin crew members and two ground staff members of Edelweiss provided the finishing touches in late January 2020. Together with a local artist, they painted the walls of the kindergarten, the aim being to teach the children about animals, numbers, letters of the alphabet and means of transport through play. We look forward to the privilege of supporting FRANGIPAN in the future as well.
The NGO “Friends Lanka Child Foundation” (FLCF) adopts a holistic approach in the primary schools it sets up, which takes each child's physical, mental, emotional, social and cognitive development into consideration. The main objective is to foster the children's physical and mental development, and to prepare and equip them for school with the right attitude and good habits.
OceanCare - prevention of ocean pollution
OceanCare is committed to the ocean and marine wildlife protection worldwide. Since 2011, this Swiss organization has Special Consultative Status on marine issues with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Edelweiss and help alliance support the work of OceanCare because we want to help protect and sustainably preserve the beauty of the beaches and the health of the oceans at our holiday destinations.
Waste collection in the Maldives
On your Edelweiss flight to the Maldives, you will be given a waste bag and asked to collect the waste you produce in your hotel during your stay. At the end of your holiday, you can drop the waste bag off at the return check-in desk for free. In this way, each holiday guest can make a significant contribution towards preventing marine pollution caused by waste and thus help preserve the Maldives as a dream destination for generations to come.
Edelweiss supports child-centred aid organisation in Cuba
A Swiss aid organisation recognised as having a charitable status, Camaquito has been supporting children and adolescents in Cuba since 2001.
The focus of Camaquito’s project work is on renovating educational facilities, hospitals and facilities for the disabled, as well as on providing access to drinking water and creating leisure and recreational opportunities for Cuban children and adolescents. In addition to supporting projects on site, Camaquito also organises sport and cultural exchanges between Europe and Cuba. Edelweiss has supported the work of Camaquito from the very start.
Edelweiss builds a home of hope in Costa Rica
In January 2018, an Edelweiss volunteer team of twelve crew members and twelve office staff built a house within two days for an impoverished family in San José (Costa Rica). The project was managed and coordinated by the local aid organisation “Homes of Hope“.
In a first step, the Edelweiss team created a wooden structure on a concrete foundation. The next step involved building drywalls and a roof. The material used to build the house included: 35 plasterboards, 20 roof panels, 120 brick tiles, 1000 nails, 200 screws, 3 windows, 2 doors, 8 buckets of paint, 25 paint brushes and 20 paint rollers. With a solid roof over their heads, this family can now look forward to a better life and future.
Social Commitment in Ho Chi Minh City
The “Teachers of Children with Autism Appreciation Day” was held on 17th November 2018, on the occasion of Edelweiss’ first flight to Ho Chi Minh City. The event was coordinated by the organisations “Saigon Children” and ”Vietnam Autism Network”, with the support of the charity ”help alliance“ and Edelweiss. With 500 participants in attendance, it was the largest public event to date for children with autism and their teachers in Vietnam. Some 30 participants from Edelweiss, Lufthansa and help alliance honoured teachers and autistic children for their achievements, presented gifts and played fun games with those present. A musical exchange with visually impaired children took place in a boarding school on the following day. Within the scope of the aid project “Saigon Children“, a delegation from Edelweiss and the “help alliance” charity distributed rice to schoolchildren and their families in the rural areas around Ho Chi Minh City.
“Hope for Township Children” in Cape Town, South Africa, and “Protection for Children in Need” in Pattaya, Thailand
Many children in Capricorn, a very poor township in Cape Town, are receiving pre-primary school education thanks to donations. With a view to ensuring that these children continue to have good educational opportunities and future prospects, help alliance is building a primary school in the township. The help alliance project in Pattaya provides reception centres to protect children who would otherwise be forced to live on the streets. As well as a safe place to stay, the children receive regular and balanced meals, clothing, medical care, access to education and help with working through their traumatic experiences.
Edelweiss and help alliance support the construction of a small school in Puerto Plata
In 1992, Florencia "Doña Lili" Bonilla founded the very successfully run small school Colegio Enriquillo in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. With good educational work, the children from this poor suburb of Puerto Plata should get better chances for the future.
Since Lili died unexpectedly in 2017 at the age of 66, her daughter Aracelis Kossiak, who lives in Germany, has been trying to save the inherited life's work. However, things are not going well for the school at the moment. Due to Corona, inflation and the 35% increase in the price of building materials, there is not enough money to complete the three-storey shell of the new school building with six classrooms.
Nadine Treichler, Digital Lead at Edelweiss, became aware of this public school and decided to submit a project to help alliance. With success: the project was included in the help alliance project portfolio. This means that we can count on financial support from the help alliance.
The project is divided into three stages.
1. completion of the classrooms: windows, floor, doors including furniture
2. creation of a retreat for the children with a playground
3. purchase, installation and assembly of solar panels
Edelweiss supports the #tide project in Mahahual, Mexico
Edelweiss, together with the help alliance, supports the buildup project of the Swiss company Tide Ocean on the Costa Maya in Mexico. The coastal region suffers from plastic pollution and lacks waste management systems, know-how and recycling infrastructure. The fragile Costa Maya ecosystem, consisting of mangroves, sandy beaches and the Mesoamerican barrier reef, is severely affected by municipal waste pollution.
Plastic waste washes up on beaches daily, affecting flora and fauna. Many fish and other marine life regularly become entangled in the plastic debris and die. Finding solutions to these problems is the core of this #tide project in Latin America.
The business model of #tide is impressively "simple": plastic waste is collected locally, recorded, sorted, and in a next step then recycled by #tide as well as brought back into the material cycle as a raw material. Marc Krebs, Co-founder of #tide: "Our goal is to protect the environment together with the local population. We bring our knowledge to the affected coastal region and provide incentives for self-help: we train people how to collect and sort plastic and pay them fair wages for doing so. In this way, we give waste a value, combat plastic pollution and return as much plastic as possible to the cycle. To do this, we work closely with the Mexican civil association Menos Plastico es Fantastico."
For the collection of the plastic, the development of a suitable infrastructure and the establishment of a local sorting center, #tide will receive substantial support from the help alliance until the end of 2024. "The combination of social commitment and environmental protection immediately excited me when I learned about the work of Tide Ocean," says Mara Marchetti, Corporate Development Manager at Edelweiss. She initiated this project at the help alliance and is at the forefront of supporting it as a volunteer project manager.
Not only is help alliance supporting the establishment of a sustainable business model, but also the maintenance of the Sandy Turtle Camp to protect sea turtles that breed there. "Raising awareness among children and young people in workshops is another very important piece of work for the conscious handling of plastic waste and a better future," says Mara Marchetti.