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The Good Samaritan: SA airline pledges free flights for critically ill children

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A number of families across South Africa need assistance in transporting chronically and critically ill children to appointments with specialist medical professionals around the country.

Non-profit organisation Wings and Wishes provides this essential service for children in need. The organisation’s main objective is to fund and arrange the transport of children in need of specialist healthcare.

IMPACT OF LOCKDOWN

When provincial borders closed and grounded domestic flights last year, many of the children who urgently needed specialist treatment were left stranded.

Despite the challenges brought on by the national lockdown, Wings and Wishes continued their efforts in assisting the needy. According to IOL, the organisation funded over a thousand trips last year.

FLYSAFAIR ANSWERS CALL OF WINGS AND WISHES

Chief marketing officer at FlySafair, Kirby Gordon, said that FlySafair was inspired by the determination of Wings and Wishes and that he could see parallels between Wings and Wishes and FlySafair.

“The global crisis affected local NGO Wings and Wishes in life-threatening ways. Yet the tenacious determination that the Wings and Wishes team has for everything they do is one of the reasons we wanted to partner with them. As an operator in the travel sector that is taking longer to bounce back, we see a lot of our same fighting spirit in the NGO and we wanted to be a part of that,” Gordon said.

PLEDGING 320 FLIGHTS

Gordon said that FlySafair was eager to get involved as the airline could provide the services needed by Wings and Wishes’ beneficiaries.

Low-cost carrier FlySafair pledged to cover the cost of 320 one-way flights over the next 10 months to non-profit organisation Wings and Wishes.

“The last year has given us a moment to pause and reflect on what we can do to make a meaningful difference at a time when it’s needed most. Wings and Wishes is an incredibly unique NGO filling a very urgent and pressing need that we are so suited to help with,” Gordon said.

SIGNIFICANCE OF PARTNERSHIPS

FlySafair’s pledge will only help to ease the task of facilitating the treatments needed by chronically and critically ill children across South Africa.

Wings and Wishes manager Inge Human said the organisation depends on partnerships to carry out its work. Wings and Wishes has a close relationship with medical professionals at hospitals throughout South Africa.

“We are very excited about our relationship with FlySafair. Their assistance will ensure that many children get the lifesaving treatment they need. By sponsoring flights throughout South Africa, the airline is giving wings to children who wish to get better and lead a healthy, normal life,” said Human.

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