AUGUST 2019 SPEAKER
This meeting once again was well attended despite the unseasonal weather and we were pleased to welcome Lynne Barker from the ‘Mission Aviation Fellowship’ M.A.F also called ‘Flying for Life’.
This organisation started in the 1950 in South Sudan where the first aircraft was sent out with supplies to help isolated people to survive in often very distressing environments. The MAF now have 136 light aircraft based in 26 countries of the developing world bringing help, hope and healing to the most remote communities.
Lynne told us how dangerous the missions are often going high into the mountains of Africa, South America, Papua New Guinea and Mongolia, when landing these aircraft on treacherous mountain sides can be very demanding. Therefore the pilots and air crew need to be very highly trained. The cargoes sent to these distressed areas can be food, medical supplies, clothing and emergency shelters. MAF also sends out medical staff, agricultural experts and teachers, some of which will spend months helping the individual communities to become independent again I their own environment.
MAF is assisted by 2,000 partners worldwide including Oxfam, Christian Aid and Tearfund.
They also have many sponsors from large commercial and industrial organisations worldwide but still appreciate the smaller donation from the public who feel they want to help in their small way also. As Lynne explained flying to remote areas can be done in minutes, and is much safer than trying to drive the remote tracks to reach the destinations.
MAF and their associates have also set up solar panels out in Africa which gives electricity to the remotest areas and also allow Internet connections and mobile phone usage there as well.
Many of the staff who work in these remote areas are volunteers and whilst there they try to learn the local languages and customs to integrate with the tribes.
Following Lynne’s talk we all retired to the small hall for refreshments and learnt more from her display of materials and items.