The pandemic may seem like a distant memory for some, but for other communities, the lockdown regulations decimated their resources. In the same light, the pandemic inspired normal folk to offer their time to help the less fortunate. One such angel-in-disguise is Kelly Slingers, a relief pilot and NGO founder, who married her passion for aviation along with her interest in social justice – forming The Plane Project.
SmileFM had the pleasure of speaking with Slingers about her journey from an Eagle Air employee to a full-time relief pilot. Initially, The Plane Project was solely an educational avenue for youth across the country to learn about aviation careers. Now, the team flies to far-flung communities delivering much-needed medical supplies and food items. “My love affair with aviation started in 2011. As enamored as I was with the magic of flight, I felt as though my purpose was not being fulfilled. I yearned to do more. In 2014, fueled by my passion for advocating for social equality, The Plane Project was born.”
A one minute TikTok story about @ThePlaneProject. I promise it’s worth a watch. If at all you feel inspired by our story, please channel it into helping someone, in whichever way you can, because if there’s anything the world needs right now, it’s people who are willing to help❤️ pic.twitter.com/VxxT5bPpZW
— Kelly Slingers (@kellyslingers) February 4, 2021
Guided by nothing but its purpose to fulfill the basic needs of South Africans, the growing number of people that The Plane Project is helping is an inspiring sight. However, as Slingers says, this rewarding work is not without its fair share of challenges.
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There is great encouragement from communities, Parliament, and NGOs for youth to become impassioned activists. However, this may seem like a daunting task for our young South Africans. Kelly shares some words of wisdom for all youth activists – ‘when it gets tough, remember your goal and your purpose’.
Kelly Slingers says that The Plane Project aims to become an intra-continental force for good – assisting anyone across Africa. If you would like to support this cause or offer a donation or your time, find the relevant details right here.