Coca and Mango Tree Group Climb To Change a Life and Carry Children with Movement Disabilities to the Summit of Mt. Fuji
The C-Suite team from Thailand’s largest International restaurant franchise, COCA & Mango Tree Restaurants Worldwide, recently sponsored and took part in a charity expedition as part of the ‘Climb to Change a Life’ project that saw them climb to the summit of Mt. Fuji in Japan while taking turns to carry children with movement disabilities.
Group Chairman and celebrated Thai chef Pityaya Phanphensophon, joined the event, which was led by Walter Lee, better known as Chef Kani, whose son Zy Lee was the original inspiration for the CTCAL Initiative, which is part of the Zy Movement Foundation, founded by Walter Lee to raise awareness of children with disabilities in Southeast Asia.
Also joining the climb were Trevor MacKenzie, Managing Director of COCA & Mango Tree Restaurants Worldwide and his wife NIt, as well as the MD Of COCA & Mango Tree Restaurants Japan, Ari Kumagai-san and Coco Yuri Takasugi from his team, plus members of the Entrepreneurs Organisation of Japan who organized the event on behalf of Zy Movement Foundation. Two trained guides also joined the group on the hike.
“There was an incredible sense of teamwork as we planned and managed the challenge of carrying these wonderful kids to the peak of Japan’s highest mountain,” said Mr. MacKenzie. “The experience brought families, colleagues and even strangers together as we shared a common bond, which was very emotional. I was also incredibly impressed at the trust the parents put in us and their willingness to have the children experience something so incredible for themselves.”
Following a successful event in Japan, COCA & Mango Tree Restaurants Worldwide is planning a “Climb to Change a Life in Thailand” event later this year that will bring together staff from the group’s international team plus invited franchisees who will gather in Kanchanaburi for a team building and training exercise. The climb will be an integral part of the programme and will also raise money for the Zy Movement Foundation
“There are millions of children with movement disabilities in Thailand who have to face physical and social barriers every day, preventing them from making the most of their lives,” said Mr. Lee. “Reaching the summit of a mountain gives them a sense of pride and helps them create a positive attitude about themselves so they can develop a sense of independence.”
Since the Zy Movement Foundation became official in 2010 it has partnered with leading global institutes and launched several campaigns to promote equality for disabled children by raising awareness, bridging the knowledge gap, and bettering the publics’ understanding of locomotive disabilities. Doctors have been brought over from Germany to teach new therapies and technologies that can make a real difference to the quality of life for disabled children in Asia.
“The Climb to Change a Life project not only gives these children a chance to experience something they would not normally dream of achieving, it also raises money for the ZY Movement Foundation that supports them,” said Mr. Mackenzie. “This is the second time Mango Tree Group has sponsored the event and once we complete the third expedition in Thailand later this year, the idea is to roll out the concept globally.”