Small change and Skywards Miles help Emirates make a big difference

Small change and Skywards Miles help Emirates make a big difference
Emirates Airline Foundation supports children affected by AIDS, underprivileged girls, and vulnerable groups in India
Customer and corporate support impact 90,000 people’s lives, support 22 projects in 12 countries, and more than 50 medical, engineering and educational missions across the globe.


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 from vulnerable communities worldwide. This includes over 6,000 children in India, supported through various organisations across the country. In the period from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, the Foundation donated more than INR 13.46 crores 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.

In India, the Foundation supported the Community Health and Education Society (CHES) which provides housing and medical care for 66 children in impoverished communities, including HIV positive children, who were left to survive on the streets. The Foundation supported the annual running costs of the home, and the renovation of its premises. By supporting the annual running costs of learning centres for girls, the Foundation also brought a positive change to 3,000 children in some of the remotest rural areas in India through the IIMPACT Girls Education Project – an NGO dedicated to empowering underprivileged girls through education. Voluntary Integration for Education and Welfare of Society (VIEWS), and NGO working to improve livelihoods and food security for marginal sections also received financial support for creating audio books that helped with inclusive education projects for visually impaired students. This project benefitted 3,000 children.

In the past, the Foundation has worked with two more NGOs in India: AIM for Seva – an organization that works to make healthcare and education accessible for girls from tribal areas; and the Lifeline Express hospital train that travels to remote rural areas to offer free medical aid to underprivileged communities.

The Foundation also appeals to Emirates’ customers to donate Skywards Miles, small change inflight, and funds on its website. 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.

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.”

Medical missions

Donated Skywards Miles supported the travel of two medical missions from the US to India: Virginia Children’s Connection and Rotaplast International. This benefitted more than 400 children from rural India suffering from cleft lip and palate, and other deformities. 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. 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.

Other missions

The Airline Foundation supported other missions such as Engineers without Borders where 3 missions from USA and one from Germany, led by 36 specialists carried out rural electrification and water supply projects in Uganda, Ghana, and Kenya, improving the health and livelihood of nearly 2700 people. The Foundation also positively impacted the lives of more than 10,300 children and 340 teachers by supporting 2 educational missions – one to South Africa and the other to Tanzania. These missions trained local teachers in addition to teaching children maths and English.

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Small change and Skywards Miles help Emirates make a big difference