Airline transforming communities in Western Uganda

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The Emirates Airline Foundation along with Outreach to Africa (OTA) has established a school with three sections; nursery, primary and secondary; The Emirates Airline Foundation campus in Geme village near Fort Portal, Kabarole District, Western Uganda. The campus is presently catering for 850 pupils and students in both day and boarding sections.  What began as a collaboration to provide basic health care services to residents in 2010, has grown to become a fully-functioning school. Upon the completion of the on-going construction and renovation work currently underway, the capacity of the school will increase.

The Paul Devlin School was started by OTA in 2008; an NGO located in Fort Portal, Kabarole district, Western Uganda with a mission to empower communities by providing quality education, health care and economic empowerment projects. In 2014, The Emirates Airline Foundation in partnership with OTA announced the commencement of a project valued at over US$ 1.5 million towards a building project that would transform The Paul Devlin School. The construction of The Emirates Airline Foundation Campus – a new wing of the School, will enhance the infrastructure and capacity of the school, allowing more students to enrol and receive a well-rounded education.

“The Emirates Airline Foundation is deeply committed to helping disadvantaged children around the world. The school that we are building with OTA will contribute to empowering communities and transform the lives of so many children,” said Sir Tim Clark, Chairman, The Emirates Airline Foundation. “Our work in Uganda over the past eight years has enabled us to meet our objectives as an organization, and this project also ties in with the goals of the Ugandan government to eradicate poverty through increasing access to education,” he added.

The Emirates Airline Foundation Campus is expected to be completed by December 2018; in time for the start of the new academic year in February 2019. The new facility will include dormitories for boarding students, sports fields, staff housing, a library and computer laboratory, a dining hall, and classrooms.

Over the years, the Paul Devlin School has enrolled thousands of students from vulnerable communities. Mr. Edward Nyakabwa, a board member with OTA said, “we have the responsibility to significantly meet the needs of and improve the lives of the communities in which we are stationed. The new wing whose construction was funded by The Emirates Airline Foundation will enable us to increase the number of students who will, in turn, reap the invaluable asset of education,” he added.

“We admit students from the surrounding Rwenzori region and other districts in Uganda. A large number of our students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and are in need of a quality education that will improve their socio-economic standing. This expansion means that we are now equipped to improve the lives of many students who might have otherwise not received any form of formal education,” Mr. Nyakabwa  added.

The Emirates Airline Foundation in Uganda

In 2010, The Emirates Airline Foundation embarked on its philanthropic journey with OTA in Uganda; sponsoring travel for nurses, doctors and other volunteers who were traveling on both healthcare and humanitarian reasons to support OTA across its various missions, schools and clinics in several remote areas throughout the country.

The next year, the Foundation and OTA marked an historic moment in their partnership. The Emirates Airline Foundation had just received a single donation of medical supplies worth USD 500,000 from SkyLink Aviation. The medicines included HIV/AIDS treatments, anti-malarial medications as well as vital vaccinations. The Emirates Airline Foundation donated the package to OTA, who, in turn, used them to provide much-needed health care to thousands of lives.

The Emirates Airline Foundation Campus is the next chapter in the organization’s efforts to enhance the quality of life and empower disadvantaged communities in Uganda.

About The Emirates Airline Foundation

The Emirates Airline Foundation is a non-profit charity organization which aims to improve the quality of life for children, regardless of geographical, political, or religious boundaries, and to help them maintain or improve their human dignity. The foundation’s aim is to help disadvantaged children realize their full potential by providing them with the basics, which most of us take for granted such as foodmedicinehousing and education.

Focusing particularly on children trapped in extreme poverty, the foundation, made up of volunteer employees and friends of the Emirates Group, strives to reduce illness and childhood mortality rates. Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman & Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, the foundation provides humanitarian, philanthropic aid and services for children, with the minimum amount of administrative expense. A board of directors, made up of senior Emirates Group management, decides on what projects to target with funds, which our passengers and staff help build through their kind donations.

The projects, either existing charities or new initiatives, are located primarily at Emirates’ destinations where local Emirates staff volunteers can participate and oversee their management, along with any assistance local communities may provide.

The Foundation’s goal is to use 95 per cent of donated funds exclusively for the children, with five per cent allocated to administration costs.

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.