Posted by Sade Williams
The African girl child’s desire to realise her dream, received a massive boost with an educative and inspiring outreach program organised by Aviators Africa. The event took place at the Airlink-Embraer training facility at the O. R Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg.
The outreach program, which was organised in partnership with the Girl Fly Program Africa (GFPA) Foundation and Walk for Love Africa, involved 30 grade 8 to grade 11 high school students from Bhukulani Secondary School Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event sought to expose African girl children to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as encourage them to pursue careers in the aviation industry.
The participants who were in high spirits throughout the program, were excited by the prospects of realising their childhood dreams and ambitions. In addition to facility tours, aircraft tour and inspirational talks, the school children also had the opportunity to try their hands on the simulator.
Speaking during the event, the Founder and the CEO of Aviators Africa Conference and Tower Awards, Mr Toni Ukachukwu said the outreach, which was supported by Embraer, Airlink and South Africa Tourism, was significant because it was aimed at educating, informing, and inspiring the next generation of African Aviators and travel and tourism professionals.
“Over the years, the girl child in Africa has not had the attention she truly deserves with respect to career direction, especially in the aviation industry. That’s why Aviators Africa, in partnership with Walk for Love Africa and the Girl Fly Program Africa (GFPA) Foundation, organized the outreach program to inspire the next generation of African Aviators.”
On her part, the coordinator of Girl Fly Program Africa (GFPA), Thabiso Thando Khoza, who ia a GFPA alumna said “The GFPA advocates for sustainable goals, with Gender Equality included. With aviation being a male dominated industry, the foundation is dedicated to exposing young women to the different careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) with a focus on aviation and space technology. This is because there are more career opportunities in STEAM.”
According to Thabiso, who is also an aspiring pilot, GFPA helps to equip young ladies with skills that can help address gender equality, poverty, and quality education. “There is a lot of room for women in aviation, and we aim to make these rooms accessible to young women by impacting lives, one girl at a time.” she added.
Speaking on behalf of the visibly elated students, Thobile Ndimande, a grade 11 student said “Being at the Airlink-Embraer facility was an overwhelming experience. I’m glad that we were given the opportunity to be here. For me, being inside the simulator was the high point of the day. Learning about the different careers in the aviation industry was also great. I would like to thank Aviators Africa, GFPA, Airlink, and Embraer for making this possible.”
The outreach program is part of the many interesting activities lined up for the 4th Aviators Africa Conference and Tower Awards taking place from the 20th to 22nd October 2022 at the Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Wanderers, South Africa.
In its fourth year, the Aviators Africa Conference and Tower Awards is a hybrid aviation and tourism event designed to bring together aviators and travel professionals. The event seeks to discuss and find solutions to the challenges of the aviation industry in Africa as well as recognise outstanding players in the travel industry. The theme of this year’s edition is ‘Sustainability in African Aviation’