I have always believed that the smallest actions we take can have an incredible and lasting impact on the world. In 1878, a father returned home from a long trip on the road with a gift for his sons. The sons played with this gift all evening and they had to be told to put it down.
Over the following few weeks, the brothers played with this toy until it broke. They went into the tool shed and made themselves a new one and they would wear that one out and rebuild it numerous times. The simple toy was a helicopter-like flying toy. The two excited brothers that it inspired were Wilbur and Orville Wright.
In 2011, I started flying. Three years later, fuelled by my passion for social equality, The Plane Project was born. The Plane Project was initially established as an initiative to spread hope to young women aspiring to work in aviation. Realizing that a greater impact can be made, we decided to do more. We expanded on our knowledge sharing outreach initiatives and now strive to collaborate with organisations doing good for communities across the country. Today, The Plane Project is a registered non-profit company ensuring that the basic health care needs of all South Africans are met, irrespective of location or socio-economic status.
It is no secret that we still have a long way to go to ensure the basic needs of ordinary South Africans are met.
A third of South Africa’s population live in rural areas. One of the many barriers for health care workers and patients in these areas is distance and access. This challenge forms one of the founding principles as to why we fly.
Sometimes it takes the most abrasive of reminders and the harshest of times to help us capture perspective. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has tested our strength and transformed our reality, it has also given us the opportunity to be radical in pursuit of a less divisive, more productive health-care system in South Africa. On the 28th of August 2020, in collaboration with a charity organization in South Africa, called SHOUT SA, The Plane Project successfully completed our inaugural flight delivery of 17500 surgical masks to 7 clinics in rural South Africa.
Our second flight was to Montshiwa Clinic in Mafikeng province. With support from The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International, The Plane Project delivered 6000 masks and sanitizers to a community in dire need of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The month of October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in lieu of this, the flight deliveries The Plane Project has planned for October, will be in aid of cancer care centres across South Africa.
Our ultimate vision is to make South Africa’s vision for universal quality health care possible and accessible by bridging the distance between rural communities and basic medical care. Geography and income should not determine your ability to access the health care system.
For more information on our organization, or to see how you can assist in amplifying the work done by The Plane Project, please visit www.theplaneproject.co.za. To get in touch, please email email@example.com.
As Owen Arthur so eloquently put it: “ For he who has health has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.”