With 17,000 travel professionals present in 140 countries and counselors available around the clock, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is always prepared to guide and assist our business travelers through travel disruptions and emergencies that may arise during their journeys. Once we make sure travelers are out of harm’s way and help get them back on track, it’s back to business as usual for them.
However, that’s not the case for millions of families impacted by conflict or natural disasters around the world. To expand the scope of aid that we provide to people during times of crises, we are partnering with UNICEF USA to support the most vulnerable children when an emergency happens.
UNICEF, which operates in more than 190 countries and territories, can rapidly respond to provide supplies and safe learning spaces for children to learn and play. American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) commits to support UNICEF through a monetary donation of half a million dollars from August 2019 through June 2021 to help give children access to the resources and supplies they need to continue their education in times of crisis. The partnership will be part of the flagship cause for focused giving as part of American Express GBT’s Responsible Business program.
According to UNICEF’s report, “A Future Stolen,” “In countries affected by war or natural disaster, one in three children and young people are out of school.”
Children, in particular, are vulnerable during times of crises. Emergencies represent a heightened risk to the physical and emotional security of children and may have social, psychological and economic ripple effects, particularly when these crises interfere with schooling. Being in school can keep children safe and protected from risks such as gender-based violence, trafficking, child labor and early marriage.
That’s why the work UNICEF is doing to rapidly get children back into a classroom setting after these kinds of disasters occur is critical. Not only can it help to restore their sense of security and normalcy, but it also can help shield them from the chaos around them in the aftermath of the catastrophe.
American Express GBT’s commitment can help UNICEF provide children with access to the resources and supplies they need to continue their education in times of crisis. The School-in-a-Box Kit is one way UNICEF helps children impacted by emergencies and crises. This portable kit helps at least 40 children continue their education by providing teachers with materials for an entire classroom, including exercise books, pencils and other basic school supplies, as well as a locally developed teaching curriculum, a wind-up solar radio and special paint that transforms the case lid into a blackboard.
The partnership will launch at the 2019 Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention in Chicago from Aug. 2–7. Participating social media posts tagged with #MomentsThatMatter and #GBTCares will be compiled into an art installation at GBT’s booth at GBTA 2019, where a School-in-a-Box Kit will also be on display.
“Our American Express GBT team is particularly great at shining in a crisis — from the care we provide our travelers to get them home safely during natural disasters or other disruptions to the support we give to our fellow team members and communities when they need it most. As the world’s leading partner in managed travel, we are honored to support UNICEF and the outstanding work they do around the world to educate children in times of crisis,” said Si-Yeon Kim, chief risk and compliance officer and executive champion of Responsible Business for American Express GBT.
To learn more, listen to this interview with Michelle Dyer, vice president of risk and compliance at American Express GBT, conducted at the GBTA Convention.