HARARE – On World Children’s Day, the Emirates Airline Foundation and its NGO partners share their hopes for improving the welfare of disadvantaged children around the world, and speak on projects that provide children with safe shelter, basic necessities such as food and medical services, and access to opportunities through education and skills training.
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline and Chairman of the Emirates Airline Foundation said: “In the 18 years since its establishment, the Foundation has been helping to channel the generous donations of our passengers and employees towards projects focussed on improving the welfare of children in need.
“The Foundation currently supports 19 projects in 12 countries around the world, and we would love to do more. Children are our world’s collective hope for the future, and they deserve every dignity and opportunity.”
In Zimbabwe, some of the organisations and projects supported by the Foundation in Africa include: the St Marcellin Children’s Village in Harare, which provides housing for over 70 orphaned and homeless children, many of whom have special needs including physical disabilities, blindness and HIV. The support from the Foundation goes towards the annual running costs of the centre as well as for educational programmes that extend to cover special instruction for the children with disabilities.
In addition, the Foundation has provided tickets for a volunteer surgical team from US-based Operations of Hope to travel to Zimbabwe to conduct facial reconstructive, burn and neonatal surgery for 68 patients, and for a Zimbabwe doctor to travel to the US for training in reconstructive surgery.
In Zambia, the Foundation facilitated travel for the Mission Bambini Foundation for a paediatric cardiac surgery mission from Italy and Spain, and theoretical and practical training for local medical professionals that resulted in 47 patient consultations and screening, and 23 surgical procedures.
In Kenya the Little Prince Nursery and School provides nursery and primary education for over 400 underprivileged children from the Kibera slums; the Virlanie Foundation in the Philippines which helps provide housing and protection for 42 marginalised children; and the Italian NGO Emergenza Sorrisi which sent medical volunteers to perform life changing plastic surgeries for over 100 children last year.
In South Africa, Singakwenza, which works to build sustainable early childhood programmes in economically disadvantaged communities, trained over 1,400 parents, caregivers and educators last year; and in India, IMMPACT provides education through community-based learning centers to 3,000 girls each year who come from underprivileged families mostly in rural areas that have little or no access to schools.
The Emirates Airline Foundation is a non-profit charity organisation, made up of volunteer employees and friends of the Emirates Group, and managed under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saaed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.
Through partnerships with NGOs and community groups, the Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for children, regardless of geographical, political or religious boundaries. The projects supported by the Foundation are located primarily at Emirates’ destinations, where the airline’s employee volunteers can participate and oversee their management.