Cebu Pacific has a found a new partner in the Melbourne-based non-profit Give A Textbook charity, headed by Australian-Filipino Samantha Bonney. The airline — from May 2019 — has enabled Samantha to continue with her mission of improving the literacy of underprivileged children, by helping to transfer pre-owned books to impoverished communities.
On her many visits to her mother’s hometown of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental province, Bonney became aware of the scarcity of reading material in the local communities. This realization led to her quitting her day job and establishing the charity in 2016.
“Prior to CEB’s support, we shipped our books by sea. This was the most effective way to go about it, but then the communities we were trying to reach would have to wait up to two months to receive the shipments. Thanks to CEB, the books can now be received in a day’s time,” Bonney says.
The first batch of 1,000 novels and textbooks — collected from a number of Australian public schools and private institutions, after the establishment of the partnership — has been shipped, free of charge, by CEB on a direct Melbourne-Manila flight. This has saved the charity thousands of dollars and the airline has helped ease the transport of books to its designated beneficiary, the Children’s Village (by Bantay Bata 163) in Norzagaray, Bulacan. The donation, made to commemorate the 73rd Philippines-Australia Friendship Day, has benefited 33 children residing in the 2.4-hectare sanctuary. Separately, a batch of books has also been donated to a community in CEB’s hometown of Cebu. This is all in line with the airline’s conservation initiatives and community development efforts.
Cebu Pacific flies to Melbourne from Manila. cebupacificair.com
This article first appeared in the July 2019 issue of Smile magazine.