As an extension of our "People Development" Core Value, we endeavor to foster a social responsibility mindset amongst our employees and partners. We believe that doing so contributes to the development of socially conscious and responsible individuals, who would not merely excel at achieving business results for the company, but would also be educated on making a positive difference to society and the environment. We do so by creating opportunities for our employees to voluntarily participate in initiatives with positive social impacts. In addition to employees, some of our partners also join us in these initiatives while others initiate their own activities.
Introduction of the social responsibility concept to employees is initiated during orientation, where new recruits are briefed on Minor's sustainability philosophy, approach, framework and initiatives. They are then invited and encouraged to participate in our various initiatives to expose them to organizations and situations that would continually foster a social responsibility mindset, throughout their careers with Minor.
As demonstration of leadership by example, our executives have long practiced accepting donations for a charity of their choice on their birthdays, instead of receiving personal gifts.
The branding behind our social responsibility cause is Minor Together With Love, which promotes the spirit of volunteerism and our aspirations to foster a social responsibility mindset amongst Minor employees and stakeholders. Initiatives that are implemented under the umbrella of Minor Together With Love typically include disaster relief efforts, donations to the underprivileged and rural communities, development activities at schools and quarterly blood donations.
In 2015, some of our employees and their families were unfortunate victims of the earthquake in Nepal and floods in Pattaya. Donations were contributed by our employees at all levels. Funds raised for the Nepal earthquake disaster relief totaled Baht 807,211, of which 78% was donated to Thai Red Cross Society's and local government's Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund, and 22% was contributed to support 50 Nepali employees from 9 of Minor Hotel Group's properties who were affected by the earthquake. Funds raised for the Pattaya flood disaster relief of Baht 96,000 was contributed to 64 affected employees.
We, jointly with two neighboring companies, organize quarterly blood donations to the Thai Red Cross Society. Each quarter, more than 100 donors donate either 350ml or 450ml of blood each, depending on their weight.
Minor Founder's Day is our annual "Day of Good Deeds", which is celebrated on June 4th of every year. It is a day where all employees are encouraged to embrace the spirit of giving by spending the day contributing their time and efforts to a good cause. In 2015, our head office as well as our dairy and cheese factories organized the on-going corporate-level school adoption program, which involved 4 schools supported by a budget of over Baht 1 million. Each business unit was assigned improvement activities for school facilities. Assignments included activities with students, painting the library and playground, cleaning the canteen, classroom and school compound, and equipping the IT center.
Our properties worldwide also carried out activities in their local communities to celebrate Minor Founder's Day. Most of the community engagement activities and initiatives were focused on school improvements as well as contributions to homes for the elderly, orphanages and children with special needs. Other activities included those with environmental impact like mangrove and sea-grass planting, and clean-ups of reefs, beaches and parks. Some properties organized blood donations while a few organized cycling fundraisers, and giving rabies vaccine to stray cats and dogs. One property team was particularly creative with their contribution, where they constructed a chicken coop for the local community. Minor Food Group Singapore also joined the celebrations for the first time by organizing a community outreach acitivity with non-governmental organization, Beyond Social Services. The team visited households in local neighborhoods, and focused on children and youth from low-income families.
Our corporate-level monthly employee volunteering program, Good Deeds in Your Birth Month, was launched in January 2015. Employees born in a particular month were encouraged to participate in external social responsibility acitivities such as visits to centers for children with special needs, as well as underprivileged and disadvantaged children. Approximately 800 volunteer hours was contributed. Total cash contibution of over Baht 680,000 was raised and donated to 9 beneficiary organizations, comprising schools and centers for disadvantaged children and youth.
In Australia, Oaks Hotels & Resorts, a division of Minor Hotel Group, supports the Children's Hospital Foundation at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital for children struggling to conquer different forms of cancers. The Foundation also funds life-saving medical research, invests in vital new equipment and provides comfort, entertainment, family support and care programs. Fourteen of its staff manned the telephones of Channel Nine Children's Hospital Telethon, which raised AUD 10.5 million for the Foundation in 2015. In addition, Cherry Trees were placed in the reception areas of properties in Brisbane with handwritten wishes from children expressing their individual hopes and desires. Guests can make donation of gold coins, which will be collected for the Foundation throughout 2016.
Oaks also sponsors room nights for local community initiatives and good causes. The followings highlight some of its sponsorships in 2015. Camp Quality works with children living with cancer. The Cancer Council, Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, raises funds for cancer research, prevention and support services. Fight on the Beaches raises funds for cancer research. Mackay Pride Campaign with council #Mackay pride campaign encourages positive conversations by local residents and help celebrate the communities. The sponsorships also supported Queensland's Buderim Mountain State School and Queensland Police Service.
As part of community engagement, Oaks is also involved in major sponsorship agreements with Surf Life Saving Queensland, Opera Australia, Australia Zoo, South Australian, South Australian Rugby League / South Australian Cricket Association, and the Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital.
As an extension of Anantara's brand positioning of "authentic luxury and locally connected", Anantara's 365 Days of Good Deeds is the social responsibility cause of our Anantara properties to be responsible members of the local communities. The concept is that at least one good deed with positive social or environmental impact is initiated by an Anantara property every day of the year, and guests or local communities are encouraged to participate. These include the Anantara Wishing Tree initiatives which raised funds to purchase school uniforms, bags and stationery for local school children; hosting school field trips; safety and first aid training for students; visits to orphanages and children with special needs; mangrove and seagrass planting; and beach and park clean-ups.
Sun International partnered with the Anthony Robbins Foundation to improve the quality of education at Nakatindi Community School in Zambia. Nakatindi School has approximately 800 children, and serves a population of almost 5,000 people from the surrounding villages and communities. The Anthony Robbins Foundation was founded by the famous American motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins, who first visited the school in 2011. During the visit, Anthony Robbins donated funds to improve school infrastructure, and made a commitment to donate USD 100,000 in collaboration with Sun International. The funds are being disbursed over 2 years, from 2014 to 2016, and used for the establishment of a computer center, construction of an arts block and volunteer teacher's allowances. Additionally, our Anantara and AVANI properties in Africa also work with government agencies, local financial institutions, and non-governmental organizations on community development initiatives. These include funding support for construction of a physical rehabilitation center; HIV and AIDS awareness program; wellness program; environmental awareness program; school improvement initiatives; provisions of monthly food rations; training in peanut butter production and business skills; training in tailoring and business skills for women; youth empowerment and support programs.
The St. Regis Charity Ball 2015 raised over Baht 6 million for the construction of a public building at the Queen Savang Vadhana Memorial Hospital in Sriracha, Cholburi under the auspices of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
The Coffee Club Australia held its annual The Coffee Club Telethon Ball, in conjunction with Channel Nine Children's Hospital Telethon, which raised over AUD 232,000 for the Children's Hospital Foundation. Additionally, The Coffee Club has been supplying coffee to volunteers of The WA Telethon for 18 years. Besides these two initiatives, The Coffee Club has also been a proud sponsor and supporter of The Special Children's Christmas Parties for more than 20 years, where families with disabled or unwell children from all over Australia are invited to these events. The Coffee Club staff volunteer to operate a complimentary coffee cart, serving coffee to parents while kids indulge in hot chocolates with extra marshmallows.
Riverside provides tertiary education scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds with good academic achievements in China. Each year, 30 students are selected and awarded RMB 5,353 at a ceremony in Wushan. Phonetically in Chinese, 53 sounds like Wushan.
In Cambodia, the local franchise owner of The Pizza Company treated homeless children in Phnom Penh to free pizzas.