Sandy or snowy holidays are the natural connection when thinking about Christmas time and travel giant Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG). This Yuletide also coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Flight Centre Foundation and the $12.5 million in donations that have been generated over the past decade by its most important asset, its people.
The ten year mark has highlighted other Flight Centre staff or “Flighties” community contribution and involvement that goes beyond dollars.
Consolidating all of the company’s social responsibility activities of the staff, including the Foundation, commitments to deliver responsible travel, gender and diversity equality plus protecting the environment has resulted in the creation of the FCTG Brighter Future Program.
“All of our social responsibility initiatives start with our people. Even the key Foundation charity partners have been selected with their input. All donations are then matched dollar-for-dollar by the company with no annual limit. We are consistently ranked in the top 20 of Aussie companies on the One Million Donors ranking of Workplace Giving companies, with 34% of our team across the country making monthly payroll deductions through our Workplace Giving Program,” Brighter Futures General Manger, Anita Russell said.
The $12.5M over 10 years has been distributed through key programs of the Foundation’s seven charity partners and includes vital services like supporting the R U OK? National Mental Health Awareness campaign, and funding for 3 million glasses of milk a year through Foodbank’s program, plus providing vital health services to children and their families via Cambodia Children’s Trust Medical Outreach Program.
“Our number one priority is that our fundraising efforts translate into real and positive impact. Our partners are experts at this in their respective fields, effecting change in so many communities. We love working alongside them to help them achieve their goals in every way we can,” Ms Russell said.
Our new Brighter Futures program has a new partner – an Australian-based charity SolarBuddy that donates and distributes solar-powered lights to children across the globe who live with no electricity.
Throughout the year at key events, Flight Centre Travel Group employees worldwide assembled the solar-powered, LED lights. In addition to the completed SolarBuddy lanterns, FCTG staff penned personal letters with words of encouragement to the young recipients, ranging from educational insights to their own personal plights. These lights totalling 6000 were delivered to local communities in South Africa as part of Global Citizen’s Mandela 100 concert held in early December.
Russell said that the lights delivery had been significant for many impoverished communities because once the sun is set often entire villages are in complete darkness. The lights can enable children to do schoolwork and have a much higher level of safety in areas where violence and assault are prevalent.
Improving education is the transformational key to breaking the cycle of poverty and the impact of the provision of the lights has ensured that there are plans to continue this good work into 2019, and a target of 20,000 lights has been set – that’s one light each for “Flightie” staffer from across our global footprint.
“Brighter Futures is about the collective impact that our people can create when we unite them. Our partnership with SolarBuddy has shown how a single light can transform the future of a child.
“Imagine what 20,000 lights can do to brighten futures, educating and empowering the next generation. With our FCTG workforce numbers, this target is within our reach, and that is a bright future for our program and communities around the world,” she said.