Date — 2016-06-27T11:53:42
Mae Sot /Schaffhausen, 27 June 2016 – IWC Schaffhausen and the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation today inaugurated a new educational garden and media laboratory at the Hospitality & Catering Training Centre (HCTC) in Mae Sot in north-west Thailand. This facility provides under-privileged young Thais from the minority Karen population with the professional training they need to break the cycle of poverty and earn a living in the Thai hospitality sector. It was made possible by the proceeds from an auction in November 2015, when the sale of a Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” in red gold raised CHF 47,500. It was the third joint auction organized by IWC and Sotheby’s Geneva to raise money for the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation.
With a festive ribbon-cutting ceremony, representatives from IWC Schaffhausen and the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation today celebrated the official inauguration of new facilities at the Hospitality & Catering Training Centre (HCTC) in Mae Sot in north-west Thailand. The garden allows students to grow and use fruits and vegetables in the context of their training. The students now also have access to a new media laboratory, which features computers and photo and video cameras, as well as books and manuals. The funds from the auction also cover schooling fees for 60 students and enable the centre to carry out much-needed renovation work. “Thanks to this generous contribution from IWC Schaffhausen and the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, we are able to improve our educational programme and to better prepare our students for their entry into the world of work”, explained Simon Martin, HCTC Director. Matthieu Dupont, Managing Director of IWC South East Asia, said: “We are proud that we can make a tangible difference for these students here in Mae Sot. The new facilities will contribute to the enhancement of the educational programme at HCTC, underlining our support for children and adolescents facing challenging circumstances, which is one of the key cornerstones of our corporate social responsibility.”
Mr. Nicolas Delsalle-Mun, Secretary-General of the Antoine de Saint Exupery Youth Foundation, Mr. Matthieu Dupont, Managing Director of IWC South East Asia and Mr. Simon Martin, School Director of HCTC
The unveiling of The Little Prince sculpture donated by French artist Arnaud Nazare-Aga to the Hospitality & Catering Training Centre (HCTC)
New media laboratory at the the Hospitality & Catering Training Centre (HCTC)
HCTC students perform traditional dance at the inauguration
Mr. Matthieu Dupont, Managing Director of IWC South East Asia
The HCTC was set up in 2009 and focuses on helping young Thai people from the minority Karen population. Many of them are poorly integrated into the education system and speak little or no English. Because they lack marketable skills, they stand little chance of success in the job market. In a two-year educational programme, the school provides them with the necessary training they need to earn a living in the booming Thai hospitality sector. “The holistic approach of nurturing both practical skills and character development perfectly reflects the core values of our foundation, and it is only thanks to strong partners like IWC Schaffhausen that we are able to carry out our work”, said Hélène Pichon, Patron of the Saint Exupéry Foundation and the Secretary General of the Espace Antoine de Saint Exupéry. The charitable foundation was established by the heirs of the great French pilot and author and carries out various projects around the world to improve the everyday lives of young people and to help them attain better futures. Also present at the inauguration ceremony was French artist Arnaud Nazare-Aga, who donated a sculpture of The Little Prince to the centre.
IWC Schaffhausen entered into a partnership with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s descendants in 2006. Since then, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer has released a selection of special limited-edition Pilot’s Watches to pay tribute to the legendary French pilot and his literary work. In recent years, auctions of exclusive timepieces to raise money for the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation’s projects have become a focal point of the collaboration. At the first auction in 2013, a unique Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” in platinum (Ref. IW502801) went under the hammer for CHF 173,000. The proceeds were used to finance two school buildings with a library in Ruluos, Cambodia. In 2014, a Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “The Last Flight” (Ref. IW388005) sold for a winning bid of CHF 40,000. Those funds went into building recreation areas and a modern library at the children’s hospital in Curitiba, Brazil, which were officially opened by the Brazilian supermodel and IWC brand ambassador, Adriana Lima, in April 2015. Finally, in November 2015, a Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW371810) changed hands for CHF 47,500.
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