By KELLY SLINGERS
I’ve just gotten back to Gauteng after spending an incredible two weeks in Makhanda (despite the town being shut down). I was compelled to share my positive experience in the face of what seemed to be hopelessness about the town. I’m a pilot originally from Makhanda but relocated to Pretoria with my family in 2003. I’m a very proud product of the City of Saints.
I founded a non-profit called The Plane Project. We fly essential supplies to hard-to-reach, underserved communities in South Africa. I spent two weeks in the Eastern Cape flying medical supplies to rural clinics in preparation for the third wave. It would have been amiss for me not to do the same in my hometown. We delivered some essential supplies to Joza Clinic and Middle Terrace Clinic and were met by the most incredible health care workers sacrificing so much for their respective communities. People who have made an incredible impact and people striving to a make a difference.
While in Makhanda, I was also lucky to get an opportunity to speak to the girls at my old primary school, Victoria Primary, about the work we’re doing with The Plane Project and encourage STEM education and hopefully an interest in aviation. I left feeling so inspired and motivated by Makhanda, its people and its future. I know there is so much to be done. But if the spirit of its people remain, I know the future will be bright. Just wanted to share some not-so-bad news about our town – Beyond all the potholes, there’s a lot of good too.