With your help the people of West Africa have "a chance, not only to change their own lives and their own destinies, but to change the future of an entire generation".

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stopping Teenage Pregnancy By Air

Another set of successful drops too place this morning. 9G ZAF, flown by Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi, with Capt. Yaw (aka Jonathan Porter) as Drop Master, 17 bags were dropped to respondent communities with posters and health training materials. We are getting to know this route well, every tree, every danger noted and the list added too each run. We are also getting familiar with a two to five minute drop interval - not much time to prepare - and the constant 'terrain warning' flashing on our GPS equipment.

On the way back, the weather was starting to get very thermal (at 11:00) and we routed to avoid the 'dark bottoms' that were building around us. Such clouds can turn in minutes from docile to violent - so we just stay clear! All part of the interest and challenging job for a 'drop pilot and drop master'... but then we also added a 'new facet' today.

preparing to drop
Earlier this week, as you read on this blog, the girls from AvTech spoke to hundreds of girls to inspire them and encourage them to achieve more. At the event, a teacher from Akateng (a non-drop to community due to its large size, and clinic, just beyond the end of the current Upper Manya drop route) asked 'Can you help to reduce teenage pregnancies in the town, with a plane?' Now, that is a tall order, even for us!
With a confused and wry smile, I asked what she had in mind.... 'If you can just fly over our school so that I can tell our girls that the plane is built by Ghanaian girls and flown by Ghanaian girls, some of whom are barely older than they, it will inspire them and they will see a purpose to their lives. It can help us to reduce pregnancies and associated challenges for girls without a vision.'

Consequently, we are now delivering 'targeted teenage pregnancy avoidance inspiration' in collaboration with the teachers in communities that are 'outside the drop parameters' (ie too big and/or too well served by roads and clinics), as an add on to our drop runs. Although this adds a little to our drop costs (about $40 in additional flying time), we are pleased to be able to respond to a community need so quickly, effectively and, perhaps most importantly, at their request, and will continue to do so as long as we can afford it.

Funding permitting we would like to bring some of the girls from that community to the airfield (after a few more fly-pasts), and see if we can support even more the teachers desire to change lives, preventing teenage pregnancies, one flight at a time...

We will be exploring some other innovative health, community and inspirational models in the coming weeks. Our continued challenge is to meet the ever increasing costs of carrying out these tasks, even though our COSTS are considerably LOWER, TIME use much more EFFICIENT and RISKS far LESS than traditional methods, we are finding funding for this type of outreach difficult to connect with. (If you can help, please let us know - we really want to expand this outreach).

1 comment:

  1. I like that: responding quickly to the needs of the people themselves ... that is what MoM is about and that is how the spirit of the organization is kept up ... great accomplishment :)