Qantas is upgrading its partnership with UNICEF to allow frequent flyer points to be donated under the Change for Good programme.
Qantas has raised $25 million for the charity in the past 21 years, when ti first started asking international travellers to dump left-over foreign currency from their pockets and purses into the UNICEF Change for Good envelope on the flight home.
As of September, you'll also be able to donate Qantas Frequent Flyer points to fund UNICEF projects such as vaccinating children against disease, supplying mosquito nets and training teachers.
Qantas hasn't yet detailed how many points any of those typical activities will cost.
The Change for Good program has provided funds for a diverse range of projects including in Macedonia, Thailand and Papua New Guinea, as well as supporting emergency relief following the Boxing Day 2004 Tsunami, the Haiti Earthquake and the food crisis in the Horn of Africa.
“This was born from a simple innovative idea 21 years ago and has grown into real change in the lives of children in some of the poorest corners of the world,” said Anthony Lake Executive Director of UNICEF.
How it all adds up...
The UNICEF partnership involves Qantas staff from all levels of the organisation, according to a Qantas spokeswoman, including over 7,000 international and domestic cabin crew, airport teams, catering, security, freight and even Qantas head office staff who collect additional change from their colleagues.
A further 20 retired Qantas staff volunteer their time to tally the donations at the Change for Good counting house.
Money collected through Change for Good goes towards UNICEF programmes helping children in over 150 countries around the world.
For example, $4.31 buys fifty 5ml auto-disposable syringes, so that 50 children can be safely immunised against disease.
$1.15 represents the cost of an HIV/AIDs rapid diagnostic test kit suitable for children as well as adults. Even a mere 7 cents buys a sachet of oral rehydration salts, which when mixed with salt water helps children combat dehydration and diarrhea.
If you’re not already doing so, Australian Business Traveller suggests you dump some of that foreign shrapnel on the flight back home from each overseas trip.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.