Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has partnered once again with the community development charity Magic Bus on its mission to support children and youth in India.
Mumbai-based Etihad Airways staff were joined by a team from the airline’s Head Office in Abu Dhabi for a three-day community service project which saw the construction of a sports field, weatherproof outdoor shelter and vegetable garden for Magic Bus in the city.
The 15-strong volunteer group comprised a mixture of Emirati and international staff, who were also joined by 20 young people from the local community supported by Magic Bus.
The project was organised in celebration of Universal Children’s Day. Children and youth supported by Magic Bus in Mumbai, including those who participated in the project, will benefit from the new facilities as part of the charity’s activity-based learning curriculum.
Hareb Almuhairy, Etihad Aviation Group Senior Vice President Corporate and International Affairs, said: “This latest initiative reflects how our staff constantly give their talents and time as volunteers to support local communities around the world. Etihad Airways embraces their enthusiasm, and is grateful for their support, further demonstrating our commitment and close links with charities through sustainable and tangible projects such as this one in India.”
The initiative was conducted as part of Etihad Airways’ iVolunteer programme, which empowers the airline’s staff to make a lasting difference in communities across the UAE and around the world. Since the programme’s launch in 2014, employees have donated thousands of volunteer hours to numerous community service projects in the UAE and conducted 11 international missions to countries including Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nepal and Kenya.
Matthew Spacie MBE, founder of Magic Bus said: “We at Magic Bus are inspired to see our long-time supporters from Etihad volunteering at the Magic Bus Centre for Learning and Development. Initiatives such as iVolunteer build connections with the community and strengthen our own efforts to build a society that enables children and youth to move from poverty.”
Through its innovative programmes on education, gender and health, Magic Bus works with 400,000 young people from marginalised communities in 22 states across India to support their journey from childhood to livelihood.
Etihad Airways has collaborated with Magic Bus on several occasions in recent years. In May, together with strategic Indian partner Jet Airways, Etihad Airways took the airline-sponsored Mumbai Indians cricket team on a visit to young people supported by Magic Bus in their home city.
Since launching flights from the UAE capital to India in September 2004 with scheduled services to Mumbai, Etihad Airways has rapidly increased its presence across the country, now flying with Jet Airways between 15 Indian cities and the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub.