Down a bumpy dirt road tightly lined with concrete single-floor buildings roofed with rusted corrugated metal, you will find a modest orphanage that is home to 95 children. The Vingunguti subsection of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is a place most Westerners do not visit, but, they should. The Mwana Orphanage is made up of a few small concrete block rooms exposed to the elements without windows, doors, or electricity but filled with children eager to smile and ambitious for change.
Aviation for Humanity was honored to visit the students and staff of the Mwana Orphanage. The center started in 2005 with five children and no financial aid. Throughout the years, residency has increased as the center has continued to care for orphaned and vulnerable children within their community. Forty-five girls and fifty boys welcomed us with smiles and responsive engagement as we handed out backpacks, notebooks, pencils, pens, and a variety of art supplies. The children were eager to receive the donation. Seeing the large number of children and the drastically underfunded condition of the school, I spoke with the director of the facility to discuss logistics for delivering more school supplies. His response was both humbling and disheartening as he explained: “Thank you for the school donations, but the children are hungry. They can not learn when they do not eat. We need food.”
Aviation for Humanity quickly donated funds to purchase a modest supply of rice and beans for all the children and staff. But, it is not enough. We will continue to support this orphanage and bring food directly to these children with the monetary donations made through this website. Aviation for Humanity will ensure 100% of the donation goes directly to feeding these children. Please check back for updates on how your donation has made a difference in the lives of these children.
Aviation for Humanity visited the Girls Shelter in the Ziat neighborhood of Fes, Morocco on June 2, 2017. The Shelter provides a safe space for girls (ages 7 – 18) who are orphans or whose families do not have the resources to house them. Without the Shelter, these girls would be homeless.
We met the girls in their colorful courtyard surrounded by lemon trees. Under the hot Moroccan sun, they waited in line to receive their individual packets of school supplies. On behalf of our generous donors, Aviation for Humanity delivered over 500 crayons, markers, pencils, and pens as well as clothing, packets of chalk, notepads, construction paper, coloring books and other arts and crafts material. The girls were appreciative of the supplies and interactive with our volunteers.
Aviation for Humanity would like to thank all of those that provided school supplies and monetary donations. Thank you to Kaoutar and David for organizing the visit to the Shelter. And, the biggest thank you goes to all the girls of the Shelter. The visit was an honor.
The world is one big community linked by aviation with all of our successes rooted in education.
The girls' faces are blurred to protect their identity.
Friends of Aviation for Humanity visited the La Hacienda School in Jaco, Costa Rica this April! Gina and Ron McKune, along with their three children (Ethan, Sadie, and Rayden), carried school supplies from Seattle, Washington to our new friends at the La Hacienda School.
The school is operated by the school director, Annabel, her modest staff, and some helpful volunteers. The complex is comprised of three, small, mostly open-windowed concrete structures enclosed by a chain-link fence. There are no iPads. There are no computers. And, they are lacking supplies. The school operates with a small budget. But, what the school lacks in modernity, it makes up for in character.
The McKunes were welcomed into the second grade class, which consisted of roughly 20 students aged between six and eight-years-old. The students were enthusiastic to quiz the McKunes on their Spanish-speaking abilities and found fun ways to communicate through common language. They handed out art supplies for the classroom and individual student packets for each class member. The packets, which included a notepad, pen, pencil, crayons, and a glider airplane, were well-received by the students and immediately put to use.
Aviation for Humanity thanks the students and staff of La Haceinda School for their hospitality and a big ‘thank you’ to the McKune family for sharing their family vacation with Aviation for Humanity and for promoting education and helping to create a global community.
Aviation for Humanity visited the Escuela Playa Hermosa in the northwestern province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica. The school, holding sixty students ranging in age between five and twelve years of age, is situated down a dusty, dirt road a few miles from the beach. While the school lacks a playground and adequate resources, it is clearly beloved in the community. The well-maintained grounds and friendly staff provided a wonderful setting for Aviation for Humanity and the students to interact.
Aviation for Humanity believes that students are empowered by owning their own school supplies and value the importance of education. Through our supporters’ generous donations, we were able to hand out sixty individual packets of pencils, mini-notepads, pens, crayons, spiral notebooks, and, of course, airplanes for a total of 456 writing tools and 120 notepads. Eager to practice their English, the students came up one-by-one to receive their school supplies. They showed their appreciation with well-rehearsed “thank yous” in perfect English.
Costa Rica has had an impressive concentration on education. In 1869, the government made education free and mandatory. Furthermore, when the military was disbanded in 1948, the government was able to increase its financial assistance to public education. The government boasts that 30% of the country’s national budget is focused on education (per CostaRica.com). Compare this to the 3% - 10% (depending on source and breakdown of analysis) that the U.S. government spends on public, primary education. While the Costa Rican focus on education is admirable, there are not enough funds to supply adequate school supplies to students.
Aviation for Humanity spoke with Escuela Playa Hermosa’s school director, Javier, regarding the need for his students and the extent of government support for his rural school. He explained, “poquito escuela, poquito dinero” (small school, little money). The government provides the equivalent of $1 USD per student per day, which is meant to cover food and supplies. By comparison, the United States spends an average of $30 per student per day* despite having a smaller percentage of national budget focused on education. The ‘poquito escuela, poquito dinero’ conundrum forces these smaller schools to rely on donations. If you are traveling to northwestern Costa Rica and would like to get involved, please reach out to Aviation for Humanity through our website email.
We thank the employees of Escuela Playa Hermosa and the students for sharing a wonderful afternoon!
*Governing.com estimates New York state is closer to $20,000 per student while Utah is about a third of that, the national average is somewhere around the $11,009 spent on public education per student annually.
Aviation for Humanity visited the Escola Moranguinhos (Portuguese for “Strawberry School”) in the Rocinha favela of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Rocinha is Rio’s largest favela (shanty town) with roughly 80,000 inhabitants. The government of Brazil, unfortunately, overlooks these neighborhoods providing minimal or no education. The Escola Moranguinhos school was born out of necessity to provide children with a safe place to learn. The school cares for infants to teenagers. On August 9th, 2016, students received individual packets filled with school supplies including notepads, markers, glue sticks, pencils, and pens.
Thank you to the Practical Montessori School and friends in Seattle, WA for providing these students with school supplies, which included over 300 crayons, pencils, and markers!