Case stories

Below are several stories of how the plane makes a difference to vulnerable people in remote areas.


1. Supporting Evangelism and Discipleship

Woman praying in a meeting of local pastors and believers in Bayankhongor, Mongolia. 1860-09-104

MAF flights are able to help overcome the enormous problems encountered by many people and organisations seeking to fulfil the Great Commission – ‘to go and make disciples of all nations’ – to those in remote and inaccessible places.

The number of Christians in Mongolia has grown rapidly in recent years, leading to a need for more leaders and Christian discipleship training. MAF flights are helping to overcome the huge distances within the country which are made worse when temperatures fall to sub-zero levels. MAF flew trainers in Mongolia 1,100km to Ulaangom for a leadership course for 100 delegates.


2. Flying Physical Aid for Physical Need

MAF supports organisations working to serve the poor, eradicate poverty and alleviate suffering.

In Tanzania, where 1 in 5 children are underweight, the growth of 38% of children has been stunted and where 1 in 100 mothers die from complications of childbirth, access to primary healthcare is vital. Much of MAF’s flying in Tanzania involves medical safaris where national and missionary staff are flown to 20 remote destinations to run medical clinics. These regular flights enable people who are cut off for most of the year to receive medical help such as mother and baby clinics, maternity care and dispensaries.

A doctor examines a young child during the Magambua Safari in Tanzania. Every month, medical workers from the clinic at Magambua fly to nearby Handa and Birise to provide a vital medical service amongst the Sandawe people. 060306/987W0620.JPG

Nurses visiting Solwarambo, a remote Tanzanian village on the Mbeya Safari to run a mother-and-child clinic. As well as weighing babies, mothers are being taught how to avoid malaria and practise basic hygiene to avert killer diseases. 111_tz_mbeya_06.tif

A paedeatrician attends to a mother and child at the open air clinic, located adjacent to the airstrip at Yaida Chini as part of the Haydom Safari in Tanzania. MAF_16.01.06_135.tif


3. Building God’s Kingdom

This involves compassion for the whole person – caring for both the physical and spiritual needs of people. MAF is privileged to support those working in holistic ministries.

Africa’s largest country, Sudan, has immense spiritual and physical needs since recent wars have seen 2 million people killed or starved to death and a further 2 million people displaced. Vast distances combined with dangerous overland travel means that Christian Mission Aid (CMA) would not be able to work there without MAF flights. CMA’s primary healthcare clinic in Keew serves a population of 29,000 people but has no church building so Christians meet in the clinic on Sundays. CMA has begun a Bible study, and is starting Christian outreach, with an emphasis on teaching literacy. Intensive Bible training for local pastors is also planned.

A Christian Mission Aid worker taking and checking blood samples at Keew, southern Sudan. As the only aid agency at Keew, CMA runs a medical clinic and is engaged with several other projects. 190707/MAF_Sudan_116.TIF


4. Reaching the Unreachable

Many aid workers and sometimes missions, concentrate their efforts in areas that are easier to reach as this is perceived to be a better investment of their time. But MAF’s unique ability to reach isolated communities can ensure that they too, have access to basic health care, education, other basic services and the Gospel message.

Lesotho is a mountainous country made up of thousands of tiny, often inaccessible villages. Roads are of poor quality or entirely lacking. Over 30 percent of the population is infected with the HIV virus, and as many as 73,000 HIV orphans live here. Because of the lack of roads and the ruggedness of the terrain, many who live in the mountains have little or no access to medical care.

Partners in Health (PIH) run a small two room clinic in Lesotho and wanted to extend their services to the community by building an X-ray room, two isolation wards, a pharmacy, a store room and decent housing for the doctor. But getting the building materials to the clinic would be impossible without MAF. 98.5 tons of building material were flown across mountainous country to enable the extension to be built. Cement bricks, door frames, rolls of plastic, window frames, packets of cement, bags of crushed stone, reinforcing bars, fuel and tools were all transported by air.

Unloading building materials for Partner in Health's new clinic building in Lebakeng, Lesotho


5. Powerful Partnerships: Mission Multiplier

MAF’s partnerships with over 1,000 different organisations enable thousands of lives each year to be transformed. From enabling access to remote communities to saving hours or even days in exhausting overland travel, MAF flights make a real difference.

7-10% of the world’s people are disabled, 80% of them live in developing countries and one third are children (WHO). IMPACT is an international organisation whose aim is to prevent and alleviate needless disability. In Bangladesh their floating hospital provides services in remote rural areas, travelling along rivers to different parts of the country. MAF supports this work by flying in medical specialists, surgeons, emergency medicine and other supplies.

MAF’s support for us is absolutely fantastic because it means that the surgeons are transported here very easily, very swiftly..they’re ready and fresh as soon as they arrive to start operations and other medical services. This is opposed to coming by car or by road. The roads in Bangladesh can be quite dangerous and they’re also not in a very good condition. So surgeons can spend 6-7 hours travelling by road and when they arrive they’re very tired and have to rest. This is obviously time wasted that they could spend with the patients here.Simon Rea, the UK Representative of the Impact Foundation, explaining the value of MAF’s partnership

The Amphibious Caravan taking off from a river near Molovibazar in Bangladesh. 2005. 270905/Molovibazar 290.jpg   Patients leaving Impact Foundation's floating hospital in Bangladsh. MAFBANG 2 0271.jpg   Surgery inside Impact's floating hospital in Bangladesh. MAFBANG 2 0211.jpg


Woman, aged 24, being carried out of Twin Otter into an ambulance at Tabubil, Papua New Guinea.  She had a big pain in her stomach for a week. 110307/1800-12-262 ed.tif
6. Saving Time: Saving Lives

MAF routine flights help save lives, but in the long term. Medevacs save lives - now!

When medical emergencies occur, the time taken to reach hospital is often the difference between life and death.

For those in remote or isolated communities an MAF ‘medevac’ flight is often the only way to reach such life-saving care.

In a small village in the midst of the mountainous jungles of north-eastern Kalimantan, a woman was having complications in childbirth. An MAF plane arrived to take her to hospital, but the baby was born before take-off. The baby was struggling to breathe and the mother, who had lost a lot of blood, was losing consciousness. The MAF plane sped them to hospital where thankfully they both recovered.

7. Globally Positioned …. for Local Needs

MAF operations are truly worldwide. Based in 26 developing countries around the world and regularly serving a further 10 countries they are ideally positioned to help local communities when emergencies arise or disaster strikes.

With a base in Haiti, MAF was involved immediately following the string of tropical storms and hurricanes Ike, Fay, Gustav and Hanna. MAF flew a Red Cross official to assess the damage caused by Hanna and from the air the official sent a message to the International Red Cross, requesting emergency approval for 20,000 inoculations and water purification supplies to offset waterborne diseases. Before the plane was back on the ground, permission was granted.

Relief aid is unloaded from an MAF Cessna 206 aircraft in Haiti following a series of devastating hurricanes and tropical storms that battered the country in Autumn 2008. 010908/DSC01585_2.jpg

MAF was then heavily involved with relief work - hundreds of thousands of people were in desperate need of food, clean water and shelter. Many roads were impassable due to flooding. MAF carried out emergency relief flights, evacuations of people trapped by floodwaters and transported food and medical supplies.

8. Ensuring Safe Travel

Mildmay distributing medicine, bread and milk to displaced children in Gulu, Uganda. MAF_Uganda_516.jpg
In many countries where there is political instability, civil unrest or war, travelling overland is simply not an option. Even in countries where there is now a cessation of hostilities, the possibility of mines or roaming bandits remains a real risk. In circumstances like these, MAF provides the only real option to reach isolated communities, by flying over danger.

Many agencies are only able to work in the north of Uganda because MAF flights avoid the risk of bandits on overland journeys. Every fortnight a Mildmay medical team is flown to Gulu in northern Uganda to provide healthcare to children in IDP camps.

9. Empowering Communities: Building Futures

The ability of many communities to develop and improve their standard of living is hampered by their isolation as this bars them not only from health care and education but also from engaging with the wider economy.

MAF flights enable these barriers to be broken by flying teachers and students, school books and educational materials – even the building blocks of schools themselves. MAF also supports food production programmes and transports crops and other goods so communities can engage in trade, generate income and see their standards of living improve.

Over half the population in Kenya is under 15 and so education is a high priority. MAF flights support the Gethsemane Garden Christian Centre, a boarding school on Mfangano Island. Mfangano has the highest concentration of HIV victims in Kenya. In just 6 years the school has grown to more than 350 children from Mfangano and the neighbouring islands. Many have traumatic backgrounds: one of the children had been found sitting beside the decomposing body of her mother, and another child had witnessed his father beating his mother to death. The school aims to provide a Christian education, equipping and enabling the children to break the cycle of poverty.

Children learning at Gethsemane Garden Christian Centre on Mfangano Island, Kenya Children at Gethsemane Garden Christian Centre greet pilot Ryan Cuthel and the MAF plane

Mission Aviation Fellowship

Castle Hill Avenue, FOLKESTONE, CT20 2TN UK, Tel: 0845 850 9505

Registered Charity Number 1064598 (England & Wales) and SC039107 (Scotland)

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