According to Save the Children, 61% of Uganda’s 1.4 million refugees are children - 14-year-old Anna* is one of them.
Anna lives in a remote refugee settlement in Adjumani, northern Uganda – home to around 240,000 refugees (source: Tutapona).
Anna recalls when she and her mother, brother and sister were forced to flee from their home in Juba, South Sudan when civil war broke out seven years ago:
‘I was seven. I remember the fighting and the gunmen who came to loot and kill. I was so afraid.
‘Our journey took six days. When we first arrived at the camp, I was relieved but at night I couldn’t sleep. During the day, I would just sit here feeling miserable.’
Tutapona is a Christian charity which offers mental health services to refugees traumatised by war. ‘Tutapona’ is a Swahili word meaning ‘we will be healed’.
Since 2012, MAF has been flying their staff and resources to Adjumani around 5 times per year. A four-hour flight to Adjumani saves Tutapona a 12-hour drive.
Tutapona runs Hero’s Journey – a free, two-week trauma rehabilitation programme, which has benefited hundreds of children from conflict zones. It uses storytelling, singing and play based therapy to equip children with the skills they need to survive, thrive and grow.
MAF regularly transports materials and toys like felt boards, peg people and clay – essential components of Hero’s Journey.
Since Anna completed the programme, her mental health and wellbeing have radically improved:
‘Now I sleep more. I’m getting better. I have hope for my future that things will change. I’ve learnt to be thankful, to have faith and hope. God is good.
‘Hero’s Journey has inspired me to study hard so I can accomplish my dreams and support my family. When I grow up, I want to help people.’
Hero’s Journey is only possible thanks to MAF transporting Tutapona’s staff and resources.
It costs around £830 per hour for MAF to fly Tutapona to Adjumani to support child refugees like Anna.
Partnerships like these change lives.
Partner with us this Christmas and help MAF transform more lives like Anna’s.
(*The name of the child in this story has been changed.)
Distance to school, unsafe public transport and teacher shortages are barriers to education in rural Papua New Guinea.
With 87% of the population living outside of cities and towns, only 50% of girls across the country receive a secondary school education (source: UNICEF).
Oksapmin Secondary School is located in the remote village of Tekin in Sandaun Province. Hidden in a valley with no road access, Tekin can only be reached on foot or by plane.
With no road network, it can take weeks to walk between villages.
Oksapmin School would simply not exist or run without MAF. Its founder, Glenda Giles, recalls how it all started in 2007 when MAF first flew in the building materials:
'Everything we needed was brought in by MAF – desks, printers, food, books, roofing, windows, nails and water tanks. Teachers, mail, even guinea pigs and fish for the ponds - all come and go by MAF.'
‘Every time we want to buy something, we have to think of MAF. We even call to check if something will fit in the plane.’
Tekin and other villages in the region rely on MAF to transport most of their people and provisions - MAF fly students, teachers and resources for Oksapmin School around 17 times per year.
Without MAF and Oksapmin School, children would not get a secondary school education, or they would be sent to other parts of PNG where they would be away from their families for long periods of time.
Student, Nasep, sums up MAF’s vital support:
'If no MAF planes came to my valley, I wouldn’t have good living standards. I would be struggling and wouldn’t know how anything works or what anything is. There would be no knowledge of God and we would be living in the dark age without a single glimmer of light. MAF planes make things easier.’
Oksapmin Secondary School is one of the top ten performing schools in the country (source: Papua New Guinea Today).
Can you imagine not being able to read or write because you couldn’t get to school?
Support us this Christmas so we can support isolated children in desperate need of an education.
Simply make a gift this Giving Tuesday and we will reach more isolated children around the world who have no one but MAF to turn to.
Thanks to a generous Christian charitable trust, by giving today your gift will be DOUBLED, enabling MAF to impact even more isolated children this Giving Tuesday!
This means that your £10 donation automatically becomes £20; your £50 becomes £100.
Thank you for thinking of the children.