Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has launched its community outreach programme in Uganda with donations of air tickets, blankets and school supplies to the Whisper Children’s Home in Mutai, in Jinja district, Uganda.
Aimed at improving the lives of young children in need, the Whisper Children’s Home was established in May 2011 to provide much-needed hope and rehabilitation support to local children suffering from malnutrition and living in life-threatening conditions.
Commenting on Etihad’s support, Veronika Cejpkova, Founder and Director of Whisper Children’s Home, said: “We are so thrilled to receive this generous support from Etihad Airways. The tickets will be so useful in flying the volunteers and staff from Europe who donate their valuable time to assist us with our day-to-day activities at the home.
“We currently look after nearly 30 children who are in desperate need of care, and the school supplies, which include pens, notepads and colouring books, will help the children with their education, and in keeping them entertained.”
The donation to the Children’s Home falls under the airline’s ‘Giving Together’ Corporate Social Responsibility initiative which encompasses charitable giving programs to selected charities across its global network.
Toyin Alaran, Etihad Airways’ General Manager, Uganda, said: “As an airline we are committed to supporting and making a difference to the communities in which we operate. The Whisper Children’s Home stands out as beacon of hope for underprivileged children and families in need in Uganda and we are delighted to be able to support them in this way.
“The assistance is in line with Etihad Airways’ commitment to support initiatives that bring about social development and sustainable betterment of local communities including education of children and uplifting the lives of the under privileged,” Alaran said.
Over 200 blankets were handed over during the visit to the Whisper Children’s Home, which was attended by Toyin Alaran, Etihad Airways’ General Manager, Uganda, Maclynn Kemigisha, Etihad Airways’ Marketing Coordinator in Uganda, and joined by Luzelle Boado-Berger, Etihad Airways’ Sustainability Officer, and five members of Etihad Airways’ iVolunteer initiative, who flew to Uganda from the airline’s head office in Abu Dhabi, to provide their time and support to this initiative.
Since its inception the Whisper’s outreach team has provided first aid and support to more than 2,000 children affected with jiggers (a parasitic flea found in most tropical and sub-tropical climates), and improved the sleeping conditions for hundreds of other local children in Mutai and other villages across the Busoga region by providing much needed beds, mattresses, mosquito nets, blankets and sheets.
Whisper also provides families with training on food preparation, personal hygiene and family planning, teaching the elderly how to repair their houses, or maintain a vegetable garden, providing school transport for children, and food or firewood to families in need during the difficult rainy season.