Hilton Tokyo Bay Christmas Train Helps Fund Construction Of New Elementary School In Ecuador

This information originated in American English.

June 10, 2010

CHIBA, Japan -  Hilton Tokyo Bay is proud to announce that thanks to generous donations made to the hotel's annual "Christmas Train" event, a new, much-needed school building has been constructed at the Eloy Alfaro Elementary School in Ecuador. The festive season initiative raised a total of JPY 1,690,223 which was presented to Plan Japan, on December 2, 2009.

"We were able to raise such a significant amount thanks also to the generous support of the organizations and companies that participated through advertising during the event," explains Hilton Tokyo Bay General Manager Frederic Lucron.

Construction work began March 1 and the new building was completed May 5. An Inauguration Ceremony attended by the school children, community leaders, local authorities and the wider community was held where students were presented with vital school supplies purchased with funds raised by donations made by Hilton Tokyo Bay guests.

Eloy Alfaro Elementary School is located in the community of Zhoray within the district of Azogues, in Cañar Province. Prior to the new school building, the education of young children had been severely hampered by poor quality facilities stemming from a paucity of funding.

The new school building offers a safe and modern learning environment opening up a world of opportunities for local children. In the short time since it was unveiled, teachers have already noticed an increase in awareness of the importance of education among parents - a critical factor in encouraging consistent school attendance and commitment to the educational programs.

"It gives us great pleasure to see pictures of the new school building and the smiling children who use it," says Lucron. "Following the success of this project, we are keen to host the "Hilton Tokyo Bay Christmas Train" again. This year it will be held from early November. Together with the support of our loyal sponsor companies we plan to make as many children smile as possible."

About Hilton Tokyo Bay Christmas Train
Hilton Tokyo Bay's annual Christmas event, featuring a 60 sqm model railroad in a recreated European wonderland, started in 2000 and has since become a popular festive season display in the hotel lobby - viewed by about 350,000 hotel visitors. In 2009, 116 companies contributed through their commitment to advertisements on sides of the striking display's vehicles, bridges, buildings and billboards.

The event is planned to be held for two months this year, from early November 2010 until early January, 2011.

About Plan Japan
A member of an international non-profit and non-governmental organization, Plan, which works in 65 countries in the world. Plan implements about 10,000 community development projects a year such as school construction, immunization and vocational training, to realize a world where all children can enjoy their rights and reach their full potential.

About Hilton Tokyo Bay
This family-friendly hotel is ideally located on the eastern shores of Tokyo Bay, adjacent to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Just 30 minutes from Tokyo and 40 minutes from Narita international Airport, this official hotel of the Tokyo Disney Resort offers 801 state-of-the-art equipped guestrooms, 4 extensive restaurants, a bar, 2 magnificent ballrooms and 8 smaller function rooms serving meetings of any size. Accommodations range from award-winning family suites, a newly-created, unique themed multiple occupancy room to stylish modern rooms. The hotel boasts numerous recreation facilities including a 1600 square meter Garden Pool area, children's indoor play spaces, a spacious modern Fitness Center and an indulgent Aromatherapy Salon. For more information about the Hilton Tokyo Bay, please visit www.hilton.com.

Appendix: School building construction project: Eloy Alfaro elementary school in Ecuador
Site: Zhoray Community, Azogues District, Cañar Province, Ecuador
Name of school: Eloy Alfaro School
Preparation: January - February, 2010
Construction: March 1 - May 5, 2010
Number of beneficiary: 111 pupils (as of May 2010) and 7 teachers of Eloy Alfaro School
Purpose: Establish one school building and improve children's learning environment

Implementing Organization: Plan Japan
Acting Chairperson & Deputy Chairperson of the Board: Hisami Kurokochi
11F Sun Towers Center Bldg. 2-11-22, Sangenjaya, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 154-8545, Japan
Tel: + 81- 3-5481-0030
Fax: + 81-3-5481-6200
http://www.plan-japan.org
Contact: Misao Ohashi - Program Department

1. Site of the project

Ecuador Basic Data

[UNICEF's State of the World's Children 2009]

The province of Cañar is located in the Southern remote highlands area of the Republic of Ecuador, at a distance of 441 Km from the capital city of Quito. Temperatures range between 12 and 20 centigrade degrees throughout the year making the climate mild. People living in this area have very limited access to social services, which results in prevalence of inadequate sanitation as well as poor quality of education.

2. Background of the project

The province of Cañar is located in the Southern remote highlands area of the Republic of Ecuador, at a distance of 441 Km from the capital city of Quito. Eloy Alfaro school is

located in the community of Zhoray within the district of Azogues at the Province of Cañar. Lack of decent classrooms and facilities causes high repetition and dropout rate, and poor academic performance. Eloy Alfaro school has 102 enrolled students and 7 teachers (as of December, 2009). There are 6 classrooms, 4 of which are badly damaged. As there is no classroom for the first grade, they are receiving classes in a space which has been reconditioned by the parents, and which lacks appropriate conditions to promote inter-relation and learning processes.

3. Progress of Project

4. Impact of the Project

Improvement of learning environment for children
111 children including 16 first grade children (as of May, 2010) are now able to learn in a safe, clean and well equipped classroom. The availability of new classroom makes children more concentrated in lessons. It is expected that children will improve their performance because they are studying in safer and more comfortable conditions than before. In addition that the hexagonal classroom provides more interesting and pleasant environment to first grade students, the hexagonal classroom enables teachers to always be well located and teachers can address equally to all children checking the comprehension level of children. It is also expected that teachers will improve their teaching method by conducting more creative class. In the short time since the school building was established, teachers have already noticed an increase in awareness of the importance of education among parents. It is a critical factor in encouraging children's consistent school attendance and commitment to the educational programs.

Capacity building of community people through community-based project
The community and parents have contributed with the project procurement, management and execution. In the project execution they were responsible for recruiting, hiring and monitoring the contractor. On the other hand, lower grades students who cannot support the project execution provided their idea in the selection of colors to be used in painting the building and in the selection of motives and colors of the murals. Children from the highest grades also participated painting the murals. Community people including children have recognized clearly that they should be maintaining the classroom on their own, and established a sustainable system to maintain it.

5. Comments from children

"Thanks to this pedagogic classroom. My siblings will have a better education because the classroom is large, beautiful and will enable to improve the teaching-learning process."
(Gilda, 10 years old, Grade 6 student)

"I say the building work is beautiful and that children should care for the classroom and not get it dirty. We also have to start encouraging solidarity. "
(Josselin, 8 years old, Grade 5 student)

"I think it is very nice and children are going to be happy because drawings are very beautiful. Besides, they are going to feel happy for being in a new classroom and they will learn better. "
(María, 8 years old, Grade 5 student)

(Data provided by Plan Japan)

Contact:
Mari Ikeda, Hilton Tokyo Bay
+ 81-47-355-5000
mari.ikeda@hilton.com

Mariko Kobayashi, Hilton Tokyo Bay
+ 81-47-355-5000
mariko.kobayashi@hilton.com

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