Two pilots from MAF attended a Department for International Development (DFID) reception held on 12 January at 10 Downing Street to honour humanitarian workers abroad.
Adrian Rose and Daniel Juzi, both experienced pilots in MAF's overseas programmes, joined around 150 humanitarian workers at Number 10 for the special reception.
'The point of the whole evening was for the British Government to recognise the humanitarian efforts and sacrifices that organisations are making in an insecure world,' said Daniel Juzi, a pilot who has served with MAF and other organisations in South Sudan and parts of central Asia.
He added, 'It was interesting to see that the work MAF does in developing countries is very well-known and very much appreciated. I had people saying to me, "Without you, it wouldn't have been possible to do the kind of work where I lived".
'I was able to meet the Prime Minister as he stepped off the platform. We spoke with him about the countries we represented through MAF. We were both able to meet Justine Greening and Baroness Northover, who seems to know a lot about MAF and related well to what we were talking about.'
Justine Greening MP is the Secretary of State for DFID reporting to the Cabinet and House of Commons. Baroness Northover represents DFID in the House of Lords, and leads on West and Southern Africa, East and Central Africa and Somalia within DFID itself.
Describing the speeches made during the reception, Adrian Rose, with several years flight experience in MAF's South Sudan programme, said, 'Towards the end, Justine Greening came to introduce the Prime Minister who then thanked everyone who represented the efforts of the UK around the world, and continued to promise support for humanitarian aid in any way the government could.
Justine Greening MP was really pleased to be able to meet MAF workers on the ground.
Adrian Rose, MAF pilot
'He also underlined his promise to pull out all the stops if anybody ever needs consular assistance.
'One of the things that Justine Greening said was that this reception was intended to honour operational people, so she was really pleased to be able to meet MAF workers on the ground.'
Alan Robinson, Development Adviser at MAF, said, 'It was an amazing opportunity to be invited and quite a privilege for MAF to get that invitation. There are so many humanitarian crises going on in the world right now at an unprecedented level. In recognition of that and in recognition of all the NGOs operating out there, the Prime Minister has taken the step to personally invite humanitarian workers along.'
Note to editors:
Further pictures available on request (credit MAF)
For more information, contact Vivienne Pattison (MAF UK)
(+44) 01303 852813