* GE join hands with the Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital to organize day of fun activities
* Initiative aimed at reducing the adverse effects of long-term hospitalization in the little ones
Kuwait City, Kuwait; July 11, 2011: GE Volunteers, the internal organisation of GE (NYSE: GE) promoting the spirit of volunteerism, brought 'Smiles of Hope' to children suffering from long-term illness in association with the Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital (KACCH) with a day of fun-filled activities held at Al-Sabah NBK hospital in Sabah Hospital Complex.
More than 150 children, several of them suffering from leukaemia and other forms of cancer and undertaking treatment including chemotherapy, took part in a day that brought hope, smile and cheer to the little ones. The objective of the event was to reduce the adverse effects of long-term hospitalization in the children, and promote their overall well-being.
George Boumitri, President & CEO of GE for Iraq, Kuwait and the Levant, said: "It was a heart-warming day for all participants in the 'Smiles of Hope' event held at Al-Sabah NBK hospital. More than 15 GE employees in Kuwait volunteered their time and effort for the event, organising fun activities and bringing cheer to the little ones, who have long been exposed to the hospital environment."
He added: "The event underlined the commitment of GE to partner in initiatives that make a meaningful difference to the community, especially sections of the society who rarely come to the mainstream. GE Volunteers have a rich history of partnering in community initiatives in Kuwait, and giving back to the society."
Hanadi Al -- Moubayed, Senior Child Life Specialist, KACCH said: "The volunteering initiative by GE truly made a difference to the children, providing them a very memorable day. Since inception, we have been associated with projects that help children and their families undergoing hospitalization or long-term treatment cope with the resulting stress. 'Smiles of Hope' will be cherished by all involved for a long time to come."
In addition to some 40 in-patient children, more than 100 children who visit the hospital regularly for out-patient therapy were also invited for the event. Their family members also took part to further spread 'Smiles of Hope' among the children.
The Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital (KACCH) is a non-governmental charitable organization registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor of Kuwait. It was founded informally in 1989 to help children and their families cope with the stress of hospitalization. The organisation is managed by volunteers and funded by donations from organizations, businesses, banks, schools and individuals within Kuwait.
GE Volunteers took part in a series of activities at the 'Smiles of Hope' initiative including face painting, hair braiding, story-telling and other fun events. The GE Volunteers in Kuwait had earlier taken part a beach cleaning activity organized by 'Keeping Kuwait Clean,' a non-governmental organization working towards keeping beaches and parks in the city clean through volunteering, apart from other socially relevant activities.
GE has a strong presence in Kuwait for nearly eight decades, partnering with key sectors including energy, water, power, aviation and healthcare. The company supports community-oriented initiatives that contribute to the overall welfare of the people.
Some 175 GE Volunteer Councils in 46 countries and over 100,000 volunteers undertake over 1 million hours of community service every year. GE Volunteers places emphasis on education, environment, healthcare and overall community development.
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