The main focus of our sponsorship programs is on supporting disadvantaged children, young people and their families – often some of the weakest members of our society. We further support charities that help victims of natural disasters, as well as cultural and sports events. Below are some of our major sponsoring activities during 2017: 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Helping to build the future of young teenagers

Since 1995, Dufry has been sponsoring a social promotion program in Rio de Janeiro, offering free professional education to 30 young people every year from communities around Galeão Airport. Every day, these teenagers go to the program headquarter where they participate in various classes and education modules such as English, computer classes, retail operations, professional orientation, teamwork, leadership, rules of etiquette, ethics and citizenship. Classes can be attended by 16 to 20 year-old female or male teenagers. The students also receive free meals, medical and dental care, life insurance, uniforms, school and educational material and transportation assistance. Dufry also supports the students with their career progression, alerting them to any opportunities within Dufry’s organization, or with external partners. Employability rates usually reach high levels for those teenagers
taking part in the program. Since its beginning over 22 years ago, the program has benefited over 600 teenagers in total.

Dufry employees are also extremely proud to be involved in this initiative and regularly participate as volunteers, as well as acting as mentors to individuals taking part. Every year, 60 volunteers from Dufry and other partners are involved in this important social action.

A SOS Children’s Villages Brazil
Igarassu | Brazil A SOS Children’s Villages project supported by Dufry since 2009.

Devastating natural catastrophes in the Caribbean, Mexico and the US – A helping hand to our colleagues

In September 2017, the Caribbean region as well as some of the Southern states of the US faced a destructive hurricane season which impacted several countries in the area, including places where Dufry operates. Despite the material damage, Dufry’s main concern was the well-being of employees affected by the hurricanes. With this in mind, the Human Resources departments from the Divisions Latin America and North America launched an online global campaign to raise funds to help these colleagues. People from all our Divisions were able to donate, with Dufry committed to double the donations. The funds raised were used to send help to benefit 16 families in Grand Turk and around 200 employees in Puerto Rico, as well as many colleagues and families in the US.

We want to give back to society – mainly by supporting disadvantaged children and their families 

Three different SOS Children’s Villages programs in Brazil, Mexico and Russia

Our partnership with SOS Children’s Villages also dates back a long time, as we started our first support back in 2009. The project we sponsored at that time was a social center in Igarassu, Brazil, for which Dufry funded the construction costs and has been supporting the running costs of the center and training classes ever since. Our two donations in 2017 enabled on one hand 465 infants, young children and teenagers with their mothers to benefit from family strengthening programs with child-minding and day care centers, and on the other hand financed the yearly family-budgets, medical costs and school fees for 24 children and their SOS-mothers. 

Since 2013, Dufry also supports a SOS Children’s Villages social center program in Tehuacán, Mexico. This project allows mothers to leave their children in the safety of the SOS child care center during the day so that they can go to work and earn their own income. The Dufry contribution in 2017 supported 105 families and covered the running costs of the social center, including food, medical assistance as well as school and educational staff expenses. From July 2018 onwards, the children of the SOS Children's village in Tehuacán will be relocated in the social families; but the engagement of the Social Center continues.

The third program, which started in 2015, supports the SOS Children’s Villages center in Lavrovo, Russia, a city located 350 km south of Moscow. When young people are ready to move out of the SOS families, they can join the SOS Youth Program, which supports them on their way to a higher education or gives them a start into vocational training. Dufry’s funding in 2017 supported 16 teenagers during one year on their way into adulthood.

An additional financing channel in favor of the SOS Children’s Villages organization are special coin collection boxes that Dufry has installed in many shops across the world. This supporting channel has been operating since 2013 and enables our customers and business partners to participate in the support of the charity’s child-care programs. 

SOS children's village Tehuacan
Tehuacan | Mexico A SOS Children’s Villages project supported

Hand in Hand for Haiti

Dufry has been sponsoring the Student Sponsorship Program launched by the Hand in Hand for Haiti Foundation since 2015. Our 2017 donation again supported 25 students at the school complex in Saint Marc, north of Port-au-Prince. The sponsored students receive free trilingual education in French, English and Creole. Through our donation they are also provided with meals, health services, uniforms, school supplies as well as bus transportation to and from the school. 

Supporting the fight against cancer in Jamaica

Dufry employees also helped to raise funds for an initiative against cancer in Jamaica. They participated at the “Susan Komen Cancer Walk: Race for the Cure” organized by Susan G. Komen, a nonprofit organization that helps to fund research, education, screening and treatment of breast cancer. 

Amelia Project Foundation – When transport changes everything in Myanmar

The “Please Take Me There” initiative of Amelia Project Foundation offers free transport to children who suffer from cancer and to their family members in Myanmar. Often located in rural areas, most families don’t earn enough to pay for the journeys to Yangon Children’s Hospital, Myanmar, which is the only hospital that can effectively treat a child in Myanmar. Many times, their journeys take 12 hours each way on average, on up to four different modes of transport. However, there are children who even need to travel for up to 3 days just to get to the hospital. Dufry is proud to have started to support this initiative in 2017: “Please Take Me There” provides a necessary free transport service and ensures that children with cancer will receive specialist medical treatment, thereby giving them an opportunity to survive.

Alzheimer’s Research UK – Increasing information about dementia 

By participating in fundraising emails and newsletters of Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) and various other activities by our World Duty Free employees, we support ARUK to provide more people with information about dementia. Dementia is a definition used to describe several symptoms that occur when brain cells stop working properly and die off. It is important to provide the public with information on how people suffering from dementia can get help and what is being done to cure it. Aside from Dufry’s general support, employees did a sky dive event, and raised funds through Valentines, Easter, Halloween, cake sales and summer activities as well as at the World Alzheimer’s Day and during a special Christmas Jumper Day.  

“One” water project – sustainable clean water service for African communities

World Duty Free started to support The One Foundation as early as 2006. The foundation created the bottled water brand “One” in 2005 to support people who do not have access to clean drinking water. WDF sells the “One” brand water bottles, juiced water and jute bags in its UK stores and has thereby been able to raise significant funds for The One Foundation over the past years.

SOS Village Igarassu
Igarassu | Brazil A SOS Children’s Villages project supported by Dufry since 2009.

The funds raised in 2017 mainly supported projects in Rwanda and Malawi where safe water and improved hygiene and sanitation facilities for over 6,700 people were installed. Whether it is the building of the infrastructure needed to deliver clean water from pumping stations to community tap-stands, the training of community members to maintain and repair water pumps themselves or supporting the partnership between local governments, local communities and utility companies – these activities are all part of The One Foundation’s support and are changing lives in rural African communities. In addition to the water projects, a school feeding program for over 800 primary school children in Malawi also profited from the funds raised.  

Ongoing support to United Nation’s campaign #YouNeedToKnow

Following the collaboration with United Nations (UN) that started in 2016, Dufry continued to support the UN in their goal of reaching over 2 billion people before the end of 2017 with their awareness campaign called #YouNeedToKnow. This campaign is part of a UN global effort to promote the importance of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and how each individual could contribute towards a more sustainable and fairer world, by just making small changes in their day to day lives. 

Building on the successful campaigns carried out in the Geneva airport in December 2016 and in London Heathrow and Zurich airports in early 2017, Dufry supported the UN by activating the #YouNeedToKnow campaign in 31 additional airports for an average period of 1.5 months between July and October, giving prominent space and visibility to the campaign. Either by showing the campaign in the multiple video screens and tills in the stores, or through interacting with passengers and engaging them to share the #YouNeedToKnow hashtag in their social media, Dufry reached over 52 million passengers during these activations, generated additional media coverage and gave a push to the UN campaign in the different social media platforms.

Moreover, the UN and Dufry, in collaboration with travel retail’s most influential publication, The Moodie Davitt Report, took the campaign to the most relevant industry events – including the TFWA World Exhibition and Conference in Cannes and the Trinity Forum – in spiring other industry members to support the campaign and resulting in other industry players interested in joining forces with the UN.

The support to this United Nations campaign will continue in 2018, and we are currently working with both the UN and airport operators in joint actions in over 60 locations. 

United Nations | UK, Switzerland – Dufry joined forces with UNITED NATIONS in an information campaign at Heathrow airport in London and at the Geneva airport in 2017; among many others.

Manchester HOME project

HOME is Manchester’s newest cultural organization founded by the merger of two of the city’s long-standing arts venues – Cornerhouse (established in 1985) and the Library Theatre Company (founded 1952), which has been supported by World Duty Free ever since 2003 in form of a community partnership for the Wythenshawe area in the South of Manchester. To date the engagement has reached over 2,000 participants attending drama workshops, theatre visits, joining intergenerational projects as well as adult creative writing courses.

In 2016 and 2017, WDF has funded two initiatives; the Wythenshawe Community Workshop and the Wythenshawe School project, both providing opportunities to young people and pupils to expand their horizons, build new skills, increase their confidence and ultimately give them the tools to help maximize their potential and prepare them for future training and employment.

Hudson Group supports U.S. Communities in Schools and keeps U.S. troops connected 

Hudson Group, Dufry’s Division 5, continued to support Communities in Schools (CIS), the largest and leading dropout prevention group in the United States in 2017, through its fund raising program. In the U.S., approximately 1 in 5 children under the age of 18 live in poverty, shouldering more than they should have to. CIS and its over 160 local affiliates in the U.S. work directly inside schools, building relationships that empower students to succeed inside and outside the classroom. The organization works with nearly 1.5 million students and is proud on its success rate: 99 % of their students stayed in school and 91 % of their seniors graduated or received a GED (General Education Development credential). Funds for the CIS organization are collected in Hudson and Hudson News stores located in airports, bus and rail terminals with counter-top boxes at registers.

Hudson Group continues to partner with local charities in North America to provide support and engagement in the community, including the USO (United Service Organizations). Through local connections with USO chapters across the U.S., Hudson Group and its customers have helped keep America’s military service members connected to family and friends.

In 2017, Hudson Group reached a new record milestone in customer donations of phone cards to the military, sold at Hudson Booksellers, Hudson News, and Hudson airport store locations. The pre-activated AT&T cards allow troops to access the Internet and call home to their families and friends. The phone cards work from landlines and payphones across the globe, including war zone locations. 

Further donations and cultural events

Dufry is supporting many other social projects with local activities in countries where it operates. In Greece, we continued the long-term partnership with the Hellenic Red Cross, supporting their refugees program by donating products in stock to the organization. Furthermore, we continued to support the Special Olympics Hellas, the largest sports and educational organization for people with intellectual disabilities in Greece, and numerous local community events organized by municipalities, embassies or local authorities. 

In Spain, Dufry went into an agreement with Aldeas Infantiles (SOS Children’s Villages) that for every pack of Carremi Turron cakes sold in our Spanish stores, a substantial portion of these sales will go to Aldeas Infantiles. In Turkey, the team attended a Charity Run with 39 employees. The aim was to support disadvantaged children with their education and the Dufry team managed to collect funds for one year’s education of 14 children. Furthermore, Dufry supported TEMA, an organization that enables reforestation and protection of natural habitats in Turkey.

In Australia, Dufry is a supporter of the Diamond Dinner for the Children’s Cancer Institute. This fund raising event brought together over 250 high-net worth individuals, celebrities and industry leaders who support the work of this institute that is wholly dedicated to childhood cancer. The company also supported the Royal Flying Doctor, which is one of the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organizations in the world. Using the latest in aviation, medical and communications technology, they deliver extensive primary health care and 24-hour emergency service to those who live, work and travel throughout Australia. In Korea, we support through different donations local students for high school scholarship and English teaching classes for low-income children as well as Korean teaching to multicultural families.

The annual sponsorship of cultural events was also continued in 2017: Many local community events such as the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in Basel or the Baloîse Session, a three week music festival in Switzerland, as well as the Madrid Open tennis tournament received our support. 

Our broad and worldwide network of travel retail shops offers another unique opportunity to support social programs: In many shops we maintain donation boxes and encourage our customers to participate in supporting specific local programs or victims of natural disasters. The amounts collected every year are always surprising and we thank all participants for their generous donations. The charities receiving them have been welcoming them greatly.

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