It’s Our Birthday!
You know how time flies when you are having fun? That’s exactly how we feel at AirAsia Foundation. It seems just like yesterday when we started although we are just one year shy of a decade. To celebrate, we challenged ourselves to the difficult task of picking one memorable highlight from the last nine years. Here’s our list:
2012 - Awarding our first grant to Cambodian Living Arts
Selecting our first grant, we approved the proposal by Cambodian Living Arts to set up a permanent stage at the National Museum of Cambodia to feature Khmer arts so that young performers have a space to perform and earn a decent income to sustain their vocation. The Plae Pakaa show started with three weekly performances and gradually grew to a packed nightly programme up until the pandemic hit, proving that social enterprises and traditional arts can be sustainably run when done with quality and dedication.
2013 - Introducing Rags2Riches Onboard
Our mission to enable social enterprises to be able to reach a wider market through the AirAsia network kicked off with a partnership with Manila-based grantee Rags2Riches to introduce two exclusive bags into AirAsia’s inflight merchandise offerings. The bags would go on to sell out, prompting AirAsia to continue the partnership with several more collections with the label. Rags2Riches bags are now available at the Destination GOOD store.
2014 - To Philippines with Love Donation Drive
In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan ripped across the Visayan islands of the Philippines and tore apart entire towns and villages. Stepping up to humanitarian calls to action, we led AirAsia’s first regionwide fund-raising campaign and raised over US$2 million to help rebuild homes and livelihoods. This campaign would set the standard for other campaigns to support post-disaster rehabilitation, from the 2016 earthquake in Nepal to the 2018 tsunami in Palu, Indonesia.
2015 - Destination GOOD ASEAN Social Enterprise Conference and Workshop
For our first flagship event, we hosted not only a social enterprise conference but also the first social enterprise marketplace in Kuala Lumpur featuring 35 social enterprises from all 10 ASEAN countries. After a day of public outreach, the social entrepreneurs continued with a two-day skills workshop where they attended training sessions from design to social media marketing to improve their business skills.
2016 - Allstars Do GOOD Volunteerism Programme
Since we regularly receive requests from AirAsia colleagues asking to join our field trips, we collaborated with social enterprise APE Malaysia to start an Allstars Do GOOD programme for corporate volunteerism. Each year, APE Malaysia selects a wildlife rehabilitation centre in need of help and we would deploy a team of AirAsia Allstars to build them enrichment tools. Starting with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme in Medan, Indonesia, successive groups of Allstars also equipped sanctuaries in Sandakan, Jakarta, Bangkok, Kota Kinabalu and Hanoi with much needed tools to improve the welfare of captive wildlife.
2017 - Hello Destination GOOD!
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, we opened our first retail outlet at the klia2 terminal of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. ‘Destination GOOD’ brought together beautiful and ethically made products from 30 social enterprises from ASEAN, to the delight of our many customers. The store enhances our social enterprise support toolkit by providing an important marketplace for small social enterprises to bring their products to an international audience.
2018 - Introducing Destination GOOD Travels
We played host to UNICEF Philippines Goodwill Ambassador Daphne Oseña Paez on the finale of her RedTalks travel series for AirAsia. Starting at the cultural town of Battambang, Daphne experienced countryside cycling tours with our grantee Soksabike, dined at training restaurants, met local artists and watched a circus performance by Phare Ponleu Selpak before heading onwards to Siem Reap to meet the country’s first all-women drumming troupe. The success of the episode inspired us to begin working on creating a sustainable travel platform in earnest - coming soon once travel restrictions are lifted!
2019 - A Place to Call Home at REXKL
In this major milestone year, Destination GOOD opened its doors at Kuala Lumpur’s top cultural artspace, REXKL, in the heart of historic Kuala Lumpur. In this former iconic cinema, our social enterprise shop, which started life as a pop-up at klia2, was able to expand to retail over 400 product lines from more than 50 social enterprises. Marking the occasion, AirAsia Foundation also organised a Malaysia Day Festival that saw over 2,000 festival-goers enjoy talks, workshops and performances by social and cultural entrepreneurs in the country.
2020 - Rebuilding Better with #KnowtheSigns
Aside from supporting social enterprises, a second important facet of our work is to train AirAsia frontline staff to recognise the signs of human trafficking and to take action. We launched an e-learning module on World Day Against Trafficking on July 30, and since then, have trained over 7,000 staff. We also hosted our first anti-trafficking webinar and joined two international panels organised by the US Department of Transportation and the International Civil Aviation Organization, aimed at developing reporting guidelines for the aviation industry. When we return to the skies, it will be better business than usual.
Follow us on our social channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to follow the developments of the foundation.
Remember, when wanting to shop responsibly, head over to DESTINATION GOOD to get your fix!