Air Asia showcases the culture and community spirit of refugees

Air Asia Foundation’s CSR initiative for refugees

AirAsia Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AirAsia opened up AirAsia’s RedQ, to the public and refugee community to showcase AirAsia’s workplace culture and to highlight the innovative ways that the social enterprises have been able to help improve the livelihood of refugees in Malaysia.

Executive Director Yap Mun Ching said, “We want to introduce more people to the social enterprises that AirAsia Foundation supports and at the same time draw attention to the challenges that refugees face. We also want to welcome the refugees to RedQ.”

During the ‘In Search of Home’ – a community festival with refugees at RedQ, over 100 guests were given a tour of RedQ.

They also viewed a photo exhibit called Pieces of Home by UNHCR and listened to sharing sessions by Nahid Kazemi, co-founder of social enterprise label Nazanin and Afghan refugee, as well as Dr Munawwar Salim, Chief of Operations of IMARET, a medical response team that has been serving at the Malaysian Field Hospital at the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh since Oct 2017.

Nazanin currently retails its range of colourful bags at AirAsia Foundation’s social enterprise pop-up shop and collaborates with AirAsia Foundation to upcycle expired life jackets into lifestyle accessories.

The highlight of the evening was a powerful play titled ‘Screaming in Silence’ on child marriage by Parastoo Theatre, a troupe formed by Afghan refugees.

Guests were then served dinner cooked by refugee families from Syria, Palestine and Iraq which is part of a social enterprise called The Picha Project.

Parastoo means swallow in Persian and in symbolically for the refugees, a nomadic bird with no real place to call home. Formed in June 2017, the theatre troupe was founded by Saleh Sepas, a former journalist and writer from Afghanistan. Parastoo Theater and The Picha Project have both been given grants by the AirAsia Foundation.



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