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Making a positive difference for Syria’s refugee children

Blog post   •   Dec 03, 2015 15:00 GMT

As a global airline, we fly thousands of passengers around the world daily, but rather than just land and take-off again, why not also fly to help those in desperate situations? In partnership with UNICEF, we did just that.

From loading the cargo hold to packing the overhead bins and also filling the seat containers, 13 tons of school and emergency supplies were flown by Norwegian and UNICEF to the world’s second largest refugee camp Za’atari on the Jordan-Syria border.

Last year we flew emergency aid to The Central African Republic, and you may wonder why we do these types of trips. It’s simple - to help children most in need of support. Syria is currently high on the political agenda but there are still people who lack hope and the basic resources to have a positive future.

Visiting the camp that is home to some 80,000 people, half of which are children, was truly an eye-opening experience. Witnessing the children’s eyes brighten up when they first saw the books, notepads, pencils, rulers, black boards and chalk that our passengers generously donated was unforgettable. The children were full of ambition, telling us of their dreams to become doctors, teachers, lawyers and even pilots.

This was not only an important trip for the refugees but also for the pilot flying a busy roster or the technician working to keep our planes flying. This gave them a unique opportunity to make a difference. As such, we encouraged our colleagues from around the business to nominate who they felt should join the trip. After receiving hundreds of nominees, some of the crew chosen for the flight were refugees themselves including the co-pilot and cabin chief, which made the trip even more special.

After spending time with the boys and girls at camp Za’atari, we saw firsthand how a simple gesture of donating school supplies and emergency aid could go a long way in improving their wellbeing. We hope the children will always remember they have our support and the chance to prosper.

We would like to thank our passengers and UNICEF’s partners for raising more than £155,000 and our colleagues at Norwegian for helping UNICEF’s work to create a brighter future for Syrian refugee children.

Bjorn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian

View a video of our visit at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rr-Cfs9UKA&feature=youtu.be

To read more about our work with UNICEF and to make a donation please visit: https://www.norwegian.com/uk/about/company/corporate-responsibility/partnership-with-unicef/