Thanks to customer donations, the Emirates Airline Foundation used a staggering 132 million Skywards Miles to positively impact the lives and livelihoods of more than 90,000 people, mainly children, living in some of the most impoverished communities worldwide. In the same period – from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 – the Foundation also donated more than AED 6.5 million to 22 projects in 12 countries.
The Foundation, a vital heartbeat of the airline established in 2003, routinely supports 32 projects and non-government organisations (NGOs) in 18 countries worldwide through customer donations, corporate sponsorships and Emirates funds. Support ranges from absorbing all annual running expenses and building infrastructure to running feeding and medical programmes, paying salaries and covering other ad hoc expenses. The Foundation also appeals to Emirates’ customers to donate Skywards Miles, small change inflight, and funds on its website.
The numbers speak for themselves. Last year, the Foundation used 132 million donated Skywards Miles to support travel for 35 NGOs on more than 50 medical missions; four NGOs on five engineering missions; and one NGO on two educational missions.
The Foundation supported three different medical missions in Pakistan. MedGlobal of US origin conducted training in adult ultrasound, antenatal ultrasound and obstetric emergencies. They also trained Pakistani healthcare professionals in compassion and empathy during patient care. The other two missions were run by the Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal (UK). One mission focused on cleft and palate surgeries for children, managing to conduct surgery for 134 patients in 2019. The other mission trained 70 Pakistani medical professionals in breast cancer surgical skills. They also provided surgery for six patients during their visit last year. The Foundation’s support for medical missions has benefitted more than 1,150 people in Pakistan.
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline and Chairman of the Emirates Airline Foundation said: “Emirates always looks for meaningful ways in which we can contribute to the local and global communities we serve, whether by sponsoring world-class sports and cultural events, supporting trade and tourism, or community causes. The Emirates Airline Foundation is our passion project, and we work with like-minded partners and NGOs globally who aim to reach out to the neglected, ignored, and the poorest communities on the planet.
“Rather than just donating food to feed the hungry, the Foundation provides children with holistic care – including food, clothing, shelter, medical support and an education – that transforms lives, creates livelihoods, helps sustain communities, and leads to a fairer, more just world. And we are helping our customers connect to these communities when they donate funds or their Skywards Miles. Everyone is welcome to join us on this journey.”
Global Medical missions
Last year, the Foundation supported the entire travel, logistics and free baggage allowance of 676 doctors, nurses and medical staff from NGOs. The medical practitioners travelled from Europe, USA, Canada and Australia to conduct thousands of free life-saving surgeries, consultations and screenings, and also training for local medical staff. Doctors treated deep burns and craniofacial deformities, conducted cardiovascular and reconstructive surgery, offered orthopaedic and obstetric medical support. These have directly helped 76,900 children and adults lead more fulfilling lives.
Engineers Without Borders – three missions from USA and one from Germany – successfully completed water supply and rural electrification projects, installed solar panels and set up computer lab classrooms. These missions, led by 36 specialists, benefited nearly 2,700 people’s health and livelihoods in Uganda, Ghana and Kenya.
The Foundation positively impacted the lives of more than 10,300 children and 340 teachers when it supported two educational missions – one to South Africa and the other to Tanzania. Warwick in Africa not only taught children maths and English in secondary schools, but also trained local teachers to benefit children’s learning for the long-term.