Small change, Skywards Miles help Emirates make a big difference to people’s lives

CLARK FREEPORT -- 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 April 1, 2019 to March 31, 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 organizations (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 programs, 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 top five countries with the largest beneficiaries were: Bangladesh – more than 66,000 people; South Africa – around 7,900; Uganda – around 5,500; Tanzania – around 2,900; and Ghana – 2,000.

“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,” said Emirates Airline President and Chairman of the Emirates Airline Foundation Sir Tim Clark.

“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.”

Efforts in the Philippines

One of the beneficiaries of the Emirates Airline Foundation in the Philippines is the Virlanie Foundation, an NGO that provides housing and protection to marginalized children through its various programs and services. From April 2019 to March 2020, the Foundation provided financial support to help with the annual running costs of two of its homes that house and look after 42 children from the community. The Emirates Airline Foundation has been supporting the Virlanie Foundation since 2016, allowing it to care for impoverished children, young adults and those with special needs and providing homes and a safe environment to grow up in. Learn more here.

In addition, the Emirates Airline Foundation also provided support through Skywards Miles contributions to Mobile Medics International, a US-based NGO that visited remote areas in northern Philippines in order to set up medical clinics, provide direct care, and educate local community members on health and wellness. The Foundation provided 11 tickets for this team to travel to the Philippines on this mission.

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 traveled 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, and offered orthopedic and obstetric medical support. These have directly helped 76,900 children and adults lead more fulfilling lives.

Many of these medical missions were conducted in remote villages and corners of the world. Some of the major beneficiaries include: 44,000 people at the Emirates Friendship Hospital and over 21,600 refugees, who received primary and secondary medical care in Bangladesh; and around 4,800 people in Uganda who received primary care.

Engineering missions

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.

Educational mission

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.

In the UAE, the Foundation supported three organizations – Al Noor Training Center for Persons with Disabilities, Safe Center for Autism, and Asperger’s Syndrome and The Rashid Center for the determined ones – with AED 650,000 last year and tickets for its junior employees. (PR)


SunStar website welcomes friendly debate, but comments posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of the SunStar management and its affiliates. SunStar reserves the right to delete, reproduce or modify comments posted here without notice. Posts that are inappropriate will automatically be deleted.

Forum rules:

Do not use obscenity. Some words have been banned. Stick to the topic. Do not veer away from the discussion. Be coherent. Do not shout or use CAPITAL LETTERS!