Over 1,700 families residing in the villages of Jerantut and Temerloh in Pahang, Malaysia, have received food aid from AirAsia on May 8th. The ‘Give with Ikhlas’ campaign provides native communities in Malaysia with basic food necessities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Each family was presented with non-perishables including rice, sugar, cooking oil, and instant noodles as well as biscuits and canned food.
According to the carrier’s statement, the campaign’s central aim is to foster the spirit of giving during Ramadan. ‘Give with Ikhlas’ joins AirAsia’s #InThisTogether campaign, which reaches out to local businesses, among other communities.
An overview of ‘Give with Ikhlas’
‘Give with Ikhlas’ is a digital initiative raising donations for vulnerable Muslim communities during Ramadan. Several government agencies, such as the Malaysian Civil Defence Force, Pahang State Executive Council, and Royal Malaysian Police, are backing the project.
According to the airline’s statement, the digital initiative is part of IKHLAS, a new business with AirAsia “that mainly caters to Muslim communities around the world by providing unparalleled access to faith-based practices.”
On top of providing families with basic food necessities, the project’s mission is to help 100 local merchants and provide 20,000 individuals with ready-to-eat meals to break their fast. The target recipients include vulnerable families, refugees, front-line workers, soup kitchens, orphanages, and students.
At the time of writing, the initiative has reached over $179,049/RM776,000 in donations, which equates to 78% of its goal.
“We would also like to thank everyone who had joined forces to enable us to reach out to the less fortunate and the front-liners whilst supporting local businesses during this holy month of Ramadan, especially to our main collaborator, Yayasan Amanah Assofwah Almalikiyyah,” said Ikhlas Kamarudin, founder of IKHLAS.
The initiative started handing out food since April 23rd, the first day of the holy month. ‘Give with Ikhlas’ has since reached out to over 3,700 families and 19,050 individuals across Malaysia. Klang Valley, Melaka, Kota Kinabalu, and Langkawi, are some of the areas that have received aid.
Other airline initiatives
AirAsia is only one airline among many who have rallied efforts to support marginalized communities. The corona-crisis has affected the food security of recently unemployed individuals. As such, American Airlines donated 25,000 meals to those in Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Last month, Delta sent out 200,000 pounds of food to hospitals and food banks in a bid to support front-line workers.
United Airlines is going in a different direction. The airline is having its employees conduct wellness calls to isolated Californian elderly. These phone calls act as a substitute for human connection in a time where social isolation is the norm.
AirAsia’s coronavirus journey
Although AirAsia grounded 96% of its fleet back in April, the carrier has managed to pull through.
Furthermore, the carrier has ensured employees that their jobs would stay safe. Instead, CEO Tony Fernandes and chairman Kamarudin Meranun vowed not to take a salary in a bid to keep the airline afloat.
AirAsia has begun operating as of May 1st, with safe-distancing measures in place. Currently, the airline has resumed domestic flights in Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Indonesia. Domestic flights within the Philippines will begin on May 16th.
What do you think of AirAsia’s food donation campaign? Will this significantly help vulnerable communities in Malaysia? Let us know what you think in the comments.