As the desperate battle to re-build homes and lives in the tsunami-stricken
regions gets underway, badly needed clean water is being delivered to the
victims of the tsunami - thanks to Just a Drop, the international travel and
tourism industry charity.A total of 100,000 bottles of spring water have been sent from UAE to South
East Asia in conjunction with the Emirates Bank, Western Union Financial
Services Inc., Scan - Trans Shipping and the mineral water company Santé.
“This was a brilliant example of joint co-operation that got quick results”,
said Just a Drop chairman and founder, Fiona Jeffery. “We are so grateful
for the way that three major companies have worked together with ourselves
and the UAE Red Crescent branch in Dubai to help ease the immediate problems
of the victims.
“Clean water is essential for life.
“Without it children are especially vulnerable to water born diseases such
as diaorrhoea, dysentery and cholera. This has been confirmed by health
officials working in the region - it is their worst post-disaster nightmare.
“It is essential that a good supply of clean drinking water is readily
available for the victims in this difficult time when the immediate
spotlight has gone away and the process of rebuilding and restoration is
still in the early stages.
“We cannot thank all those involved in this initiative enough for their
quick thinking and humanitarian actions.”
She said that two cargoes of bottled water had now been delivered to
logistics bases in Indonesia and Sri Lanka and distributed to those most in
Santé has supported Just a Drop for the past year since the launch of its
new mineral water brand in the UAE, pledging 2.5% of every bottle sold to
the charity. The company has been active in recruiting corporate sponsors as
well as participating in events to generate awareness for the cause. Rajesh
Arab, Commercial Director, FBWC Marketing, one of the ‘brand ambassadors’ of
Just a Drop in the UAE said: ” We are so grateful to all those who helped us
take clean water to worst affected areas, particularly children whose immune
systems simply cannot cope with dirty or polluted drinking water.”
Louis Scotto, Head of Retail Banking, Emirates Bank said: “We hope that
sending bottled water to some of the areas worst hit will help prevent the
spread of disease and keep future loss of life to the minimum.”
“Our immediate re-action was to get together with a few friendly ship owners
and offer free space on our ships to transport supplies,” said Rohan Shetty,
Managing Director, Scan -Trans Shipping Middle East. “Our colleagues join me
in extending our unequivocal support for the victims.”
Marc Aubry, Sr. Regional Marketing Manager for Middle East, Pakistan and
Afghanistan at Western Union said ” It was natural for us to react in the
early stages of this disaster by providing immediate basic necessities to
those in need. In addition, The First Data Western Union Foundation made a
donation of US$1 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and
Red Crescent Societies to support victims in the Asian countries most
impacted by the recent tsunami disaster. “
The work of Just a Drop and its supporting companies has been praised by the
Red Crescent branch in Dubai. Manager Mohammed Abdullah Alhaj Al Zaroni
said:” The work of Just a Drop will help tremendously in these critical
first months after the disaster.”
Santé, under the Just a Drop banner, has now joined forces with a large
number of hotel groups in Dubai to support Crossing Borders - a Cycling
Challenge to raise aid for an orphanage in Battambang, Cambodia (run by
Aspeca) and The Human Development Foundation in Bangkok. The fun, fund
raising event will take participants through Sharjah to Fujairah with a
two-night stay for two at the AL Maha Desert Resort and Spa for the cyclist
raising the most amount of money.
Just a Drop, founded seven years ago by World Travel Market, the leading
business exhibition for the international travel and tourism industry, has
set up a separate account to receive donations and other fund raising monies
in aid of the tsunami victims.
“The immediate aid is a wonderful start to our relief work in South East
Asia”, said Ms. Jeffery.” We are now identifying specific projects in the
region where we can help to provide water-related facilities such as
latrines and sanitation.”
Log on to www.justadrop.org for further details
on the Just a Drop Disaster Fund and how to make a donation.