Flying for Life Around the World: October 2021 Update
Focus on Partnership: Tearfund in South Sudan.
‘Recently, I flew 1178kgs of vegetable seeds to Pieri for Tearfund,’ shares Pilot Wim. ‘The seeds included eggplant, amaranthus, okra, and collard greens. Four different types. I spoke to the TearFund team on the ground and they told me they are going to plant then in the next few weeks.
‘I was curious to know why they were planting them now, at the beginning of the dry season. They told me that they have had so much flooding that they the ground is only just drying up after all the rain. They are planning to water the seeds. There is a lake in the area which will last until April and allow them to continue growing right through the dry season. They will receive another load of watering cans in the coming days.
‘They expect to harvest these vegetables around April. This will give them more variety in their diet and hopefully improve nutrition in the community. I flew to Pieri a few months ago with some wash supplies for the Feeding Centre, so I know that is a problem in this area.
‘Pieri is a quite an isolated area, surrounded by wetlands, which makes it quite a challenging place to reach by road. In the past, they’ve experienced intercommunal violence – although they say the peace is currently going well.
‘I think it’s a great thing that Tearfund are able to provide them with seeds which will allow them to grow their own food and have the satisfaction of being self-sufficient. If they are smart when they harvest they can use part of the seed to cultivate vegetable again in the next growing season – and keep going like that.’
We are grateful to be able to partner with Tearfund in this work.
What We Fly: To help avoid the impact of South Sudan’s rainy season, many people move this time of year to the highlands to escape floods.
The highlands however, are the natural habitat of hyenas and recent reports say that these animals have been attacking people near the city of Tonj.
As a result, several unvaccinated people have contracted rabies. This disease – which infects the brain and nervous system – is fatal without treatment.
In Deed And Truth Ministries (IDAT) is the only hospital in Tonj to stock the #rabies jab.
To boost stocks to treat and prevent further outbreaks, Mission Aviation Fellowship – South Sudan ’s Raphael Flach flew a consignment of the vaccine to IDAT.
Papua New Guinea
What We Fly: Exam papers delivery
This is MAF Agent Samuel Debola unloading some very important cargo – Grade 10 exam papers.
Pilot Joseph Tua flew them to Balimo where they were picked up to continue the journey on the Aramia River to reach the final destination Awaba Secondary School. Just in time for the weeks of exams.
What We Do: On Father’s Day this year, MAF Arnhem Land had an Open Day, which was a great opportunity to have the community visit the terminal and see what MAF is all about.
Despite MAF having served in Arnhem Land for over 45 years, there are still members of this (very transient) community who think that we’re “just another commercial airline”; it was great to be able to help them understand that each day, we’re “Flying to Serve”.
The team at MAF Arnhem Land enjoyed giving a demo of the new medevac equipment, which will be launched in the coming weeks. It was also great to welcome back some Yolngu students (who MAF transport to and from boarding school), and give them a go in our flight simulator… Boy, was the flight sim a hit, with kids and adults alike!
Papua New Guinea
Who We Fly: The need for lifesaving flights is greater during some weeks than others. This particular week five people from different rural villages were medevaced by our pilots Joseph Tua and Jan Ivar Andresen. Saving several weeks on rough bush tracks and rivers with only a few minutes in the air.
Read more on the link HERE
All in a day’s work: Follow along with the team from MAF Timor-Leste as they deliver 2000 doses of Covid-19 Vaccine (and other medical supplies) from Dili to Oecusse:
Who We Fly: Medair in South Sudan.
“Hi, my name is Jasmine. I am a paediatric emergency nurse by training originally from Brisbane. I worked at the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane before coming to South Sudan.
Here in South Sudan, I’m currently working for Medair, which is an organization that does relief aid. I’m working as a Health Manager on the Emergency Response Team, and we’re really, really lucky to actually collaborate with MAF in South Sudan at the moment.
Just recently, we started an intervention in a town called Nimule, which is on the border with Uganda. We are there responding to the needs surrounding COVID-19. We are supporting local healthcare authorities and local partners on the ground to strengthen their support around COVID-19.
It can be difficult to get to Nimule. There are roads, but they’re insecure, so travelling by road is not an option for us. We need to fly. There are not a lot of other options in terms of getting there. It’s great that MAF actually were able to get our team to Nimule in order to do this response.
MAF Flew both for our assessment team and then also for our intervention team, as well as carrying cargo that we needed for one of our interventions in Nimule giving people kits to enable them for home isolation if they’re COVID-19 positive. The kits contain food and also hygiene items. And so that wouldn’t have been possible if we weren’t able to fly with MAF.”
Who We Fly: Recently, MAF Pilot Alistair Youren flew two passengers from Hope For South Sudan (HFSS) – a 12 year old student who needed specialised care not available locally and was taken to Nairobi for treatment and an HFSS leader who accompanied her.
HFSS is a safe house and school protecting children from human trafficking near Torit run by Lift Up the Vulnerable (LUV). HFSS protects and educates nearly 390 children between 5 and 18 years of age.
Focus on Partnership: In a bid to improve the safety and efficiency of medevacs in Timor-Leste during the pandemic, MAF is delivering training to Dili Ambulance Service staff who work in partnership with us.
With medevac patients in Timor-Leste increasingly testing positive for Covid-19, this training means that pilots no longer have to be central to the loading process, which gives them more protection, whilst still delivering a top-class service.
Local medics are now familiar with MAF’s emergency procedures, medevac equipment, how to lift /load patients, and how best to use a scoop stretcher.
This training will be rolled-out across the whole of Timor-Leste.