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Our frequent flyers will know that on our flights we ask passengers to donate their loose change or foreign currency to some of the amazing charity projects we support. Our passengers are a generous lot - we manage to raise well in excess of half a million pounds every year - so we thought you might like to know a little more about what we're doing with your money and the difference it makes.
Free The Children
We've partnered with the incredible Free The Children organisation and have adopted six villages across Kenya, China and India. We're working with the communities to come up with ways to make a real difference that are also sustainable: current projects are providing education, healthcare, water and sanitation, as well as coming up with ways for villagers to generate income so they can break out of poverty.
In Kenya we've adopted the village of Sikirar in the South Narok district of the Maasai Mara region, an area known as one of the world’s most beautiful animal and plant habitats.
This past week we sent a posse of staff and cabin crew, accompanied by the press and the wider Virgin family - including Holly Branson - to Kenya. They've been rolling up their sleeves and working alongside the Maasai villagers to build a new school for the children of Sikirar. Given this area has the highest primary school drop out rate in Kenya, the plan is to build new classrooms as well as provide new water systems, health clinics and workshops, which we hope will make a real difference.
Maasai villagers in Sikari, Kenya
Keep an eye on the blog as over the next couple of weeks we'll be bringing you more details of the trip, including plenty of photos and reports from the ground, along with some stories about the different ways we raise money for these initiatives, both here in the UK and abroad.
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About the author: MaxineMaxine Sheppard
Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.