Air France Foundation:
celebrating 25 years
Because education can change the world, Air France created its Foundation to help children in need. Working with associations and NGOs, the airline supports initiatives on every continent it flies to, giving hope to young people and their families.
One of the main focuses of the Foundation: to bring families back together and help marginalized young people rebuild their lives.
In the last 25 years . . .
the Foundation has facilitated 1,338 projects, most of them sponsored by Air France employees: 379 in Africa, 161 in Latin America, 209 in Asia, 418 in France, 57 elsewhere in Europe and 114 in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean.
Helping street children
In Moscow, Cairo, Dakar, Lima and, recently, Bamako, the Air France Foundation is supporting welfare services that assist children who no longer live with their families and who are exposed to street violence, as well as young mothers and their children who are victims of domestic violence and forced to leave their homes. A main focus of its activities includes trying to bring families back togetherwhich is always a challenge and sometimes impossibleand aiding these marginalized young people to rebuild their lives.
Helping young people in need get access to education
There are numerous obstacles to education: family poverty, lack of schools in the vicinity, the need to move in order to survive, natural disasters. In the last 25 years, the Air France Foundation has been involved with numerous long-term projects that enable children to attend or return to school. Among the finest accomplishments is the reconstruction of the Carius-Lhérisson school (Port-au-Prince) following the earthquake of January 2010: 2,300 Haitian students were able to go back to school thanks to donations from Air France staff. In Cameroon, in the suburbs of Douala, the Foundation facilitated the construction of a school and its subsequent extension, and today the Henri-Dumont is a real school complex. With the acquisition of a bus, students are now able to get to class and attend sports and cultural activities.
In Madagascar, the Foundation has partnered with the association Aïna - Enfance & Avenir to rescue street kids and provide them with shelter, healthy food, medical care, a sympathetic ear and schooling. An orphanage built in 2008 provides 50 young people with a stable and caring environment. Funding for crèches provides assistance and security to teen mothers.
In conjunction with International Women’s Day, the Air France Foundation accompanied flight no. AF3758 with its all-women crew, to meet the associations it sponsors in Madagascar.
Helping sick and disabled children
More than 650 million people, or 10 percent of the world’s population, today live with a physical or mental disability. They include nearly 190 million children. The Air France Foundation supports a number of associations that come to the aid of young people who are living very difficult lives due to the severity of their illness, their intense medical treatments or the burden of a physical or mental disability. Thus the association Le Rire Médecin in France arranges for professional clowns to visit children in hospitals to share wonderful and tender moments. The Foundation is also supporting an innovative program, Mater-Nez, which aims to strengthen the bond between vulnerable mothers and their newborns, as well as Fly n’Kiss, entirely run by volunteers, which gives kids a chance to discover flying for the very first time. Thanks to its commitment to these initiatives, the Foundation has enabled them to continue their activities, to develop new projects and to offer even more moments of happiness to children in hospitals, as well as their families and the medical staff who attend to them.
In Mali, Libre Vue has opened the first soccer for the blind center at the Institut des Jeunes Aveugles in Bamako. Every week, around 150 girls and boys between the ages of 7 and 18 who are blind or visually impaired enjoy soccer training under the supervision of six Malian instructors. The aim is to nurture the sporting, moral and intellectual values that are vital for their development and for improving their living conditions.
Volunteer work within the airline
Over the years, the Air France Foundation has become a vehicle for social cohesion within the airline. The network of the Friends of the Foundation now has more than 3,250 volunteer participants. The Foundation regularly calls on their generosity and commitment. Since 2014, it has been organizing campaigns, with Air France Cargo, for donations of toys, educational games, school equipment and clothing for children in very difficult circumstances through numerous associations in Madagascar, Senegal and France: the 22 tons collected over the past four years have benefited thousands of children.
Members of the Friends of the Air France Foundation receive information about current projects in order to spread news about them among colleagues; they also take part as volunteers in events organized by the Foundation. If you are a member of staff of the airline, join us. There is so much to do!
The Air France Foundation Prize: a highlight
This annual prize, now in its seventh year, has been awarded to L’Envol, an association that organizes residential stays in families for gravely ill children, helping to give them a sense of well-being. These are accompanied by all the medical treatment necessary to ensure their safety. In 20 years, 8,000 patients have benefited from this “recreational therapy.” At the prize-giving ceremony, a number of employees involved in humanitarian actions were also awarded medals: Arnaud Charleux (flight deck crew), Isabelle Fauqueux (purser), Franck Félicité (Air France Cargo) and Dominique Lhote (captain).
@ Catherine Cabrol @ Fly n’ Kiss @ Olivier Ouadah / Le Rire Médecin @ Cécile Vic - IMCA