Accor Launches Yim Kids Foundation to Bring Smiles Back to the Children in Need

Accor's Yim Kids Foundation commences with the announcement of a major fund-raising event - "Accor Race to Survive" in Phuket, Thailand during March 22-25, 2010

Bangkok, Thailand, January 30, 2010 --( Accor, as a leader in the hospitality industry, understands that there is a moral obligation to improve the quality of people’s lives in countries in which it operates. With this objective in mind, Accor has established the “Yim Kids Foundation” to act as a channel to improve the health, education and well being of children in need throughout various parts of Thailand.

Those that are most vulnerable and constantly victims of poverty, are the children living in slums and far-flung, impoverished communities in Thailand. These children are often denied of opportunities for a proper education, basic nutrition, and in many cases, a safe place to call “home”.

Yim Kids Foundation (Yim is the Thai word for “smile”), with the help of Accor’s 8,000 employees and 43 hotels and resorts throughout Thailand, will initiate fund-raising activities and projects to raise money to help these children in need.

Yim Kids - An ongoing mission

Accor has operated in Thailand since 1988, and has made significant contributions to the people of Thailand ever since. The Yim Kids Foundation has evolved from one of Accor’s multinational programs, “A Tree for a Child (ATFAC)”, which began in 2001 and was launched in Thailand in 2006.

The Yim Kids Foundation will continue with the ongoing projects initiated under the ATFAC program, such as the reconstructing and maintaining of education facilities in two remote communities in the northern part of Thailand, and supporting these two communities by managing the distribution of their produce - organic rice and local manufacturing products - through the Accor hotel network, which in turn will improve the livelihoods of the villagers into the future.

Accor remains committed to existing projects and will add new dimensions to help more children with several new fund-raising activities, the first major one being “Accor Race to Survive”.

Accor Race to Survive – Phuket, Thailand

Accor Race to Survive is an established, dynamic fund-raising event to raise funds through sponsorship of teams that are made up of Accor employees and friends. Over the course of four days - March 22 - 25, 2010 - teams from all corners of the globe will travel to Phuket and will push their bodies and minds to the limit, completing strenuous daily combinations of swimming, mountain biking, kayaking and running, while camping at night on Lon Island (Koh Lon), a small isolated island southeast of Phuket. Many of the team members participating in the race are hoteliers, not professional athletes, but all are training hard and truly committed to the fund-raising event.

Each team is required to raise a minimum of US$7,000 as their entry fee and donate their time and energy to participate in this significant fund-raising event, bringing attention to the cause and showcasing Thailand as a world-class tourist destination.

Yim Kids Foundation projects

Through the Yim Kids Foundation, Accor is creating sustainable, incremental and prudent improvements to the social well being of children. The funds raised will support four projects, each selected and planned carefully, ensuring sustainability and that it will reach out to assist those children that really need a helping hand:

1. Support the cost for children’s education in the Mercy Centre’s Bangkok slum school. There are around 300 children at the school and the cost for each child to receive a proper education is approximately US$57 per child per year.
2. Support the health and medical-related cost for 63 orphaned and abandoned children with HIV/Aids at the Mercy Centre.
3. Assist communities in Koh Lon by expanding their sustainable fishing program to improve their livelihoods, enabling the children from these communities to continue their secondary-level education in Phuket.
4. Provide education funds to help the children of sea gypsies and rubber tree tappers in Phuket whose livelihoods and way of life have been affected by the Tsunami in 2004.

“Every employee involved in these important life-changing projects knows that they are playing a part in making a difference to the lives of these children, and therefore, has dedicated their time, enthusiasm and energy to make these projects possible. Accor has partnered with several like-minded business partners and sponsors, and we are grateful for their contribution and support to the cause”, says Oswald Pichler, VP Operations for Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, and a spearhead of the foundation.

Accor Foundation – A worldwide philanthropic approach

In 2008, Accor has established an umbrella foundation - Accor Foundation - to support local sustainable and employee-based solidarity projects, such as the Yim Kids Foundation, throughout the world. To date, within the Asia Pacific region, the Accor Foundation has made contributions to seven unique programs that are changing the lives of the people and communities needing assistance. Yim Kids Foundation, a recent recipient of a contribution from the Accor Foundation, received a total of 20,000 Euros to commence sustainable projects.

Yim Kids Foundation and Accor employees are devoted and have pledged full commitment to put smiles back on the faces of these children. To succeed, Accor needs help. Please visit to learn more about how you can contribute and be part of these projects and help bring lifelong smiles to these very special children in need.

Evan Lewis, Accor Asia Pacific,, (65) 6408-8840, (65) 9853-2441
Vasu Thirasak, Accor (Thailand),, (66) 2659-4620, (66) 2264-5747

Sutanita Thavornchak