Friday, February 03, 2012

Dream Flight: Youngsters from SOS Children’s Villages treated by the Phoenix Aviation Limited

Rosalia Mutinda, a Flight Attendant at Phoenix Aviation, welcomes [from left] Erude Gatwiri, Peter Kariuki and Arun Kiprono children at SOS Children’s Villages, on board a Cessna Caravan. Ten youngsters from SOS Villages in Nairobi, Mombasa, Meru, Kisumu and Eloret were treated to a dream flight by Phoenix Aviation to show them Nairobi, Mt. Longonot and Lake Naivasha from the skies.

Coastweek -- Ten youngsters from SOS Children’s Villages selected according to academic excellence, talent, good behaviour and involvement in hobbies and sports were treated to a dream flight by Phoenix Aviation Limited.

Phoenix Aviation Limited is a leading regional and international charter, aircraft maintenance and worldwide air ambulance organisation based at Wilson Airport.

The Company used a Cessna Caravan which carries 12 passengers for this dream flight.

The young passengers and a “mother” were able to view Nairobi and Naivasha from the skies in a comfortable cabin.

Chatting with excitement, the children who were chosen from SOS Villages in Eldoret, Kisumu, Meru, Mombasa and Nairobi, were welcomed on board the Caravan aircraft for the experience of their lifetime by Captain Ivo Saio and Rosalia Mutinda, a Phoenix Aviation Flight Attendant.

The youngsters were assisted by Rosalia to buckle their seat belts and were made comfortable before the departure of their flight.

After carefully explaining the emergency procedures, Captain Ivo Saio, sped down the runway and the children were airborne causing them to scream and laugh in excitement.

Looking down from his window, ten year old Peris Wangechi from SOS Village in Nairobi shouted, “Wow, Nairobi looks so beautiful from the sky and the cars and buildings are very small.”

Seven year old David Osoro from the SOS Village in Mombasa, exclaimed, “I cannot believe I am inside an aeroplane. I have always seen them up in the skies, but I never dreamed I would board one. I will work hard and become a pilot.”

As the youngsters enjoyed snacks, sweeties, chocolates and soft drinks served in the aircraft, the Captain pointed out important landmarks that the youngsters could identify such as the Nairobi National Park and the Ngong Hills.

They could also see traffic jams on the City Roads.

Later during the flight, the Captain drew their attention to Mount Longonto, Hell’s Gate National Park, Lake Naivasha and Naivasha Town.

On viewing Naivasha, eight year old Arun Kiprono from SOS Village in Eldoret, said in amazement, “We are already here! I did not imagine that we could see the town in such a short time. Naivasha is beautiful because it has a Lake and a lot of greenhouses.”

Ten year old Peter Kariuki from SOS Village in Kisumu, said, “It is amazing that an aircraft can cover the distance between Nairobi and Naivasha in less than 45 minutes. My aspiration is to become a pilot, or an aeronautic engineer. I will study very hard and pursue my dream career.”

Soon it was time to return to Nairobi. After landing, 13 year old Erude Gatwiri from SOS Village in Meru said, “I was curious to know how I would feel when an aircraft is taking off and landing. It was effortless and smooth.”

After disembarking the youngsters broke into song and dance and brought work at the Phoenix Aviation hangar to a stand still. When asked by Captain Ivo Saio what they wanted to be when they grow up, the entire group of youngsters shouted, “pilot and air hostess.”

He encouraged them to take Mathematics, physics and geography subjects seriously if they wanted their dream career to come true.

Everline Nasimiyu, a “Mother” at SOS Village in Nairobi, said, “These pupils have never seen the inside of an aircraft and to take a flight was way beyond their expectations. Phoenix Aviation has turned their dreams into reality.

“More importantly this flight will motivate these children to work hard and give them hope to focus on getting better things in life.”

From small beginnings in Austria after World War II, SOS has become a global organization with children’s villages caring for orphans in many countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

In addition to providing a family style up bringing under the care of “mothers”, SOS Children’s Villages run vocational training centres and programmes which assist street children. In Kenya , there are SOS Villages in Nairobi , Mombasa , Kisumu, Eldoret and Meru.


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