MONTREAL, April 29, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - On April 23, Transat raised almost $33,000 with the second edition of its Twitter auction, selling 20 flights to some of Air Transat's most popular destinations in Europe, departing from seven Canadian cities. The entire amount was donated to the humanitarian organization SOS Children's Villages. Two days later, a catastrophic earthquake struck Nepal; according to the latest reports, there are more than 5,000 dead, with thousands left homeless, and hundreds of children orphaned.
In response to this major humanitarian crisis in the region, Transat and SOS Children's Villages have now agreed to donate the entire auction proceeds to the SOS Children's Villages emergency relief effort in Nepal. The money will be used to provide immediate relief to local communities, with SOS Children's Villages representatives acting on two main fronts: helping unaccompanied children who have been separated from their families, and offering child-friendly spaces.
"SOS has been in Nepal for more than 40 years," explains Boyd McBride, President and CEO, SOS Children's Villages Canada. "We don't want to see any child alone in Nepal as a result of this tragedy. Over the short term, we will be working to help children find their families, identifying them and registering them with state authorities, and caring for them. And by providing child-friendly spaces, we'll ensure they receive basic necessities like clothing, food and healthcare, allowing parents to focus on the coming task of rebuilding, knowing that their children are kept safe."
The Nepalese economy is strongly dependent on tourism, especially trekking and climbing in the Himalaya, the world's highest mountain range. "It was natural that we should respond swiftly in the aftermath of this immense tragedy," says Annick Guérard, General Manager, Transat Tours Canada. "So we decided to answer the call of our partner, SOS Children's Villages Canada, which wanted to focus efforts on providing assistance to this severely affected region, where the needs are enormous."
Transat and SOS Children's Villages Canada invite members of the public to support child victims of the Nepal earthquake by visiting this Web page: http://www.soschildrensvillages.ca/nepal-earthquake-emergency-response.
About Transat Tours Canada
A specialist in holiday travel to every continent, Transat Tours Canada develops and commercializes a vast array of products, from beach vacations to guided tours to cruises, under the Air Transat, Transat Holidays, Nolitours, Transat Discoveries and TMR Holidays brands. Transat Tours Canada is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world.
About SOS Children's Villages
SOS Children's Villages provides children in need with a caring, loving and secure family environment where basic needs for food, health, shelter, and education are met, and creates opportunities for them to become responsible, contributing members of society. More than a million children in 134 countries benefit from the organization's commitment to providing "a loving home for every child." To learn how to help, visit, www.soschildrensvillages.ca.