September 2017
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Charity Begins at Home
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Each year, Coca-Cola bestows its Global Heart of Ambassador Award on individuals who have acted in a selfless or admirable way for charity. In April, it was given to Li Yan Xia, Administrative Manager at Swire Coca-Cola Yunnan Beverages and the first Chinese person to win the award, for her passionate and selfless actions when disaster struck her home province of Yunnan, in Mainland China.

When Yan Xia was first told she had won, she was surprised and delighted. "I never expected to be honoured with this kind of recognition. It has inspired me to do more, because I know every action I take will influence my colleagues. It's up to me to set a good example," she says.

As a committed Coca-Cola Ambassador, Yan Xia has participated in various charitable events, including a fund-raising walkathon for sick children, and has given school talks on disaster relief.

As a committed Coca-Cola Ambassador, Yan Xia has participated in various charitable events, including a fund-raising walkathon for sick children, and has given school talks on disaster relief.

As a committed Coca-Cola Ambassador, Yan Xia has participated in various charitable events, including a fund-raising walkathon for sick children, and has given school talks on disaster relief.

The events leading up to this accolade began in August 2014, when a magnitude 6.5 earthquake devastated the area around Ludian in Yunnan province. The company was quick to respond, sending 49,800 bottles of water to the stricken region – one of the first aid consignments to reach survivors. However, when the extent of the damage became apparent via media reports, Yan Xia knew she had to do more.

"I'm Yunnanese, born and raised. I have a connection with the locals, so of course I wanted to help them in their hour of need," she explains. What's more, Yan Xia's own childhood was not easy and she knows what it's like to go without. She felt the pain of the earthquake victims very deeply.

Yan Xia drew on her experience as a Coca-Cola Ambassador and took strength from the shared sense of social responsibility amongst her colleagues at Swire Coca-Cola. She knew she could make a difference: "We visited the region and started a campus aid programme at the Coca-Cola Hope Primary School in Wujixiang, Yongshan County," she says. "It wasn't easy, but it was all worth it when I saw the relief on people's faces."

With the support of local government and media, families in crisis were invited to spend Chinese New Year with members of the Coca-Cola team. Two children, a little girl and her younger brother, stayed at Yan Xia's house in Kunming for five nights where they were received warmly by her family – especially by her two nephews. "I prepared schoolbags, hats, books and festive food, of course. It was a privilege to welcome them. On our last night together, we discussed how, in ten years' time, we will all gather again for Spring Festival. Even now, we talk every week using WeChat and they tell me what they have learnt at school," she reports.

"Charity work has a powerful draw for me. I feel very lucky to be able to spread love and positivity," says Yan Xia. Indeed, she looks forward to contributing more in the future, wherever help is needed.

Yan Xia invited two young victims of the earthquake to spend Chinese New Year at her home, a warm act of sharing love during the traditional time of year for family reunions.

Yan Xia invited two young victims of the earthquake to spend Chinese New Year at her home, a warm act of sharing love during the traditional time of year for family reunions.

Yan Xia invited two young victims of the earthquake to spend Chinese New Year at her home, a warm act of sharing love during the traditional time of year for family reunions.
Charity Begins at Home
Charity Begins at Home
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Swire News - September 2017
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