Since its creation in 1988, the APRIL Group has always been committed to promoting diversity within its teams throughout the world. The Group is proud of its achievements in terms of gender and racial diversity with its employees coming from all over the world and also makes a point of offering equal access to employment to people with disabilities and providing them with adapted work environments.
About the campaign
To promote better integration of people with disabilities and encourage being accepting of differences within the workplace, the Corporate Social Responsibility team in France created a communications campaign focused on giving children the opportunity to voice their unprejudiced outlook on disability. The message of this campaign? "Everything is just a question of perspective, so let's see the world through the eyes of a child!" By bringing forward the children's creativity, the campaign depicts the simplicity and authenticity of their vision on disability and shows that differences are not considered as obstacles.
Now, it's our turn!
While the challenges related to disability are regularly mentioned in Europe, the topic often receives less attention in Asia, which is why it is even more important for us to raise awareness about it.
Unfortunately, the Asian and Pacific region counts by far the largest number of people living with disabilities in the world. Whether it is physical disability or what is considered as "invisible disability" (visual or hearing impairment), most of these people find themselves excluded from many social opportunities and very often struggle to access education and work opportunities. Raising awareness and destigmatising disabilities is therefore an even bigger challenge, but also more meaningful.
Following the example of our French colleagues, our Bangkok team invited 6 children from the charity organisation The Courageous Kitchen to our local office to continue the discussion on disability. We gave our young guests of the day some white sheets with a printed disability symbol in the middle (a wheelchair, a hearing or visual impairment icon) and asked them to draw around it. They used these symbols as starting points of their drawings and came up with some amazing creations by integrating them to their ideas. Their drawings highlighted the innocence of their vision on disability.
Finally, to engage them to talk about the subject, we asked them a few questions: Do they have any friends who are disabled? If their best friend was disabled, would they still be their friend? If a student was disabled, would they still be a good student?
Despite their obvious shyness, all 6 children had meaningful answers. "If my friend was disabled, I would still be their friend because people in wheelchairs need friends just like any other people." a 12 years old said. "Even if they are disabled, they can still learn and be good students." a 13 years old added.
We invite you to watch their interview below!
Through these campaigns, APRIL is hoping to change people's perception on disability and to be an inspiration for other companies and their employees to take similar initiatives.
Who is The Courageous Kitchen?
To create this campaign, APRIL gave voice to the children of The Courageous Kitchen. This charity organisation is based in Bangkok and its mission is to help and empower young children who are at risk of poverty, malnutrition or who don't have access to quality education by providing them nutrition, cooking and English classes. "Even though Bangkok is known for being a city with a very large food scene, there are still of a lot of families who still can't afford to eat. We work with the kids and teach them how to cook, we teach them English, and with those things combined we really believe that the kids will have a lot of growing and learning opportunities in the real world." Macy Tran, a volunteer at the organisation, declared. APRIL is proud to support the foundation by providing them with new school supplies and with a year's worth of rice for the cooking school. We strongly believe that equal opportunities should be offered to anyone regardless of their social background and admire the hard work and commitment of the volunteers to uplift the children of the organisation in society.
We sincerely thank The Courageous Kitchen for making this event such a success and we are delighted that the children had a great day with us. Special thanks to Macy and her team for being present and for their invaluable help that day.