Cultivating Changi Airport Group’s heart for volunteering

June 2024

By Genevieve Chan

Back to Changi Journeys



Understanding the passions and preferences of Changi Airport Group (CAG) employees has been key in efforts to grow a culture of volunteerism within the company. By curating volunteer opportunities for employees, this has brought even more meaning to their giving efforts.

This approach has been made possible thanks to CAG’s deep partnership with Metta Welfare Association (MWA). Over the years, Changi Foundation – CAG’s philanthropic arm – has worked closely with MWA to jointly create initiatives which best meet both organisations’ commitment to support disadvantaged youths.


A year of impact

Changi Foundation celebrated several major corporate social responsibility milestones over the past financial year. These included the curation of close to 600 learning and job experiences with various airport partners for disadvantaged youth, alongside a best-ever 30 Gold Award recipients for CAG’s M.A.D (Make.A.Difference) Volunteer Award, which employees had to volunteer a minimum of 25 hours over the year to attain. 

Most notably, CAG achieved an all-time high employee volunteer count of 565, representing an increase of over 40% year-on-year, as well as a high of 3,767 volunteer hours contributed to both CAG-organised and external activities, which marked a nearly 75% year-on-year increment.

Ivy Choo, Head of Changi Foundation, Changi Airport Group, believes these numbers are testament to the effort put in to carve out tailored volunteering opportunities for employees. “We respect that colleagues have different considerations when it comes to volunteering. For example, some prefer less front-facing tasks, while those planning divisional volunteering look for a spectrum of roles to cater to different interests. MWA gamely experimented on various modalities with us, and we landed on several activities that helped them to alleviate their operations.” 

“Conducting such activities in the MWA premise also provided our colleagues with a deeper understanding of inclusive work and social environments. This could be seen when they had lunch at the Metta Café, or browsed through the retail offerings of Arts@Metta and Eco@Metta – the youth employment programmes offered to Metta School graduates, the special education arm of MWA,” added Ivy.


Finding a best fit

CAG employees have supported youths at MWA on projects such as the production of orange enzyme cleaners.


Over the past year, CAG colleagues have supported MWA through a variety of activities, ranging from sorting and packing food donations for beneficiaries, to supporting the production of fundraising products. One of these projects focused on the production of multi-purpose, all-natural orange enzyme cleaners. Working alongside youths from Eco@Metta, orange peels collected from various vendors were processed, fermented, and packaged for sale.

CAG volunteers helped sort out suitable apparel for sale at MWA’s thrift shop, which prices items affordably for lower-income families.


Elements of sustainability are consciously weaved into the activities where possible so that volunteers give back not only to the community, but also to the environment. In addition to upcycling projects which keep waste out of landfills, MWA’s thrift shop aims to reduce waste through the sale of pre-loved and donated apparel. CAG volunteers did their part by helping to identify and sort out suitable apparel for the shop.

CAG’s new hires worked alongside youth from Arts@Metta to upcycle 150 thermal flasks to be sold as flower vases.


To introduce CAG’s values of service from the start of their corporate journeys, volunteering activities have been integrated into CAG’s orientation programmes for new joiners since June 2024. Most recently, new hires worked with the artists from Arts@Metta on an upcycling project, painting 150 thermal flasks to be retailed as flower vases. As with the other projects, the raised funds were put towards supporting both the organisation and artists themselves, highlighting CAG’s goal of empowering beneficiaries to lead independent lives. 


Takeaways from giving back

Through these activities, volunteers have had firsthand opportunities to interact and engage with youths from Metta. Not only has this helped them familiarise themselves with and better understand the needs of the differently-abled, these occasions have served to break down barriers and open minds towards engaging in more intentional activities with special needs individuals down the road. 

Dakshita Agarwal, who joined CAG recently, experienced a new level of joy when volunteering. " I had the opportunity to interact with the youths from Arts@Metta, and was amazed by how skillful, talented, and dedicated they were, even though each of them had their own personal challenges. The whole experience has been a source of inspiration, reminding me of the importance of finding resilience and strength when facing life's challenges," she added.

Felicia Wee, Deputy Executive Director, Metta Welfare Association said, “We are grateful for our continued partnership with Changi Airport Group and hope that these co-developed programmes provide volunteers with deeper insights into MWA’s programmes and services. Through interactions with our beneficiaries, we hope that they are able to learn from one another and recognise the importance of building a more inclusive society.”

Other Articles

How Changi gets aircrafts ready from touchdown to turnaround

From the moment a plane touches down, a flurry of activity goes on to get it ready for its next flight. See how teams work together like clockwork to turn the aircraft around. 

View Full Article

Preserving a piece of Changi’s history with wooden benches

Follow the journey of an old set of wood panel fins from Terminal 2. See how CAG worked with furniture makers to upcycle them into a functional installation that looks at home in the newly-opened terminal.

View Full Article

On LinkedIn@ChangiAirport

As Hari Raya Haji approaches, find out more about the planning and facilitation that CAG puts in place for this annual pilgrimage.

View Full Article