Airbnb was formed in 2007 when two hosts welcomed three guests to their home in San Fransisco. The rest, they say, is history. Today, the booking platform has since grown to include over 4 million hosts around the world with more than 900 million guests.
And while travel has taken a backseat, Airbnb hasn’t. Recognising the aid needed in many community its hosts call home, Airbnb have pledged US$100 million (approximately RM414 million) over the next 10 years to various organisations around the world.
To determine how to best direct these grants, Airbnb turned to its Host Advisory Board comprising of exceptional hosts who act as the voice of the overall host community. From there, Airbnb selected focus areas in need and worked with their program partner, GlobalGiving, to compile a list of suitable organisations, which were then voted on by members of Host Clubs around the world to be sure of which organisations could have the greatest impact in their own regions.
This year, the Airbnb Community Fund has distributed US$10 million (approximately RM41.4 million) to over 150 organisations from more than 40 countries. What these selected organisations have in common is its work catering to community needs brought about by the global pandemic. The three themes spotlighted in 2021 are COVID-19 relief, economic empowerment, and education.
With the fund received, local beneficiaries Teach for Malaysia, St Nicholas’ Home Penang, and Liberty to Learn Berhad, will be able to further strengthen the communities they aid.
Teach for Malaysia, more commonly known as TFM, was co-founded by Prestige Malaysia‘s 40 Under 40 2016 alum, Dzameer Dzulkifli. The independent non-profit organisation aims to help children in Malaysia attain high-quality education.
Their aim is expectedly challenged during the lockdown, and in an interview with Prestige Malaysia published last June, CEO Chan Soon Seng shared the obstacles faced.
“The limitations of Internet connectivity, mobile coverage, and access to devices, pose real challenges to ensuring all children have access to education. From our perspective, almost 9,000 students, or approximately 60% of students taught by TFM Fellows in B40 communities have not been able to engage in online learning methods” he said.
Divyang Hong, a Partnership Development Senior Associate at Teach For Malaysia is hopeful that the grant from Airbnb will enable the organisation to continue supporting their cause.
“TFM hopes to work with students, families, teachers, and the education ecosystem to develop appropriate strategies to address inequities in students’ access to educational provision and learning, during and after the pandemic. We aim to achieve this by executing our “Education Recovery Strategy” which consists of 3 main thrusts: recommit, recover and reimagine by 2023.”
To learn more about the Community Fund and the grant recipients, please visit the Airbnb Community Fund page.
(Main image credit: Airbnb)