Colombo, Sri Lanka – Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, collaborated with Voice for Voiceless Foundation on their Good Hope programme, a women’s empowerment project in Sri Lanka.

Etihad Airways Country Manager Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives & Seychelles, Dougie Douglas, said: “The Etihad team in Sri Lanka are delighted to have had this opportunity to give something back to the community where we live and work. We are very grateful to the Voice for Voiceless foundation who have again been an outstanding partner in connecting us with this Good Hope project which has allowed us to reach out and help this group of women who are overcoming challenges to become independent. Their resilience and determination is an inspiration. We also want to thank all our customers who contributed to our collection”

Good Hope aims to empower single mothers and widows towards becoming self-sufficient. Last year, they established a sewing centre with sewing machines donated by Etihad and their customers. The women now run a developing tailoring business and plan to expand the Colombo centre and open a new centre in Batticaloa in Eastern Sri Lanka. For this they needed two larger, industrial sewing machines.

Voice for Voiceless Director, Moses Akash said “It’s a great honor for us to have the support of an International airline like Etihad, who believes and trusts in our mission, that together we can make this nation a better place for its people. This is our third project with them and we are looking forward for more. Thank you Etihad”

Following on from last year’s successful initiative, on 8th March this year, Etihad’s team in Colombo visited their customers to congratulate the ladies on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

After discussing the achievements and inspirational quotes from women in history such as Junko Tebei, the first woman to climb Mount Everest, and successful Sri Lankan entrepreneurs Aban Pestonjee and Otara Gunawardene, the Etihad team invited the gentlemen to make a donation to Good Hope in return for a beautiful, specially made chocolate for them to present to a lady special or inspiring to them.

The donations totaled over LKR50,000 which was counted and handed over to Voice for Voiceless a few days later, on 14 March, and two industrial sewing machines were procured and presented on the same day.