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expects to grow to employ around 100 people in Macau. The branch will be responsible for most of the charity’s


work in East Asia, such as coordinating fundraising centres to be opened in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. It will oversee aircraft re tting in the mainland and aircraft servicing in Hong Kong, and draw up mission plans and  ight plans.


Flash of inspiration At present Global Flying Hospitals operates leased aircraft but it plans to eventually own and operate 12 planes of three dif- ferent sizes. Mr Newton has lived in China for three years and has trav-


elled all over the mainland. It is vital to be close to mainland China, to obtain central government approval to use mainland airspace and to mount medical missions, he says. While impressed by the country’s rapid development, Mr


Newton has seen the lack of infrastructure and healthcare fa- cilities in some rural areas and the need for swift assistance in the event of calamities such as the Sichuan earthquake. A pilot himself, Mr Newton created Global Flying Hos-


establish partnerships that will take care of the logistics. “We certainly look forward to having VIPs join as pa-


trons, to lend support and help,” says Mr Newton. The organisation has received donations only from small


and medium enterprises but its founder hopes Macau will be a source of bigger sponsors. It expects to close negotiations with a big hotel company soon. Volunteers can come from any walk of life and are needed


to help in  elds ranging from marketing to fundraising and administration. Global Flying Hospitals is also looking for medical staff and pilots interested in giving one or two weeks of their time a year to help those in need. Mr Newton believes that his charity can give something to


Macau in return, by creating new jobs, boosting business and ultimately promoting the city internationally. Global Flying Hospitals receives requests for help every


week, Mr Newton says. It is just waiting to get its  eet fully up and running to respond to all in need. The organisation has 53 full-time employees and 60 vol- unteers, ranging from medical professionals to fundraisers. It


pitals in the United States in 2001. The idea for the charity struck “like a lightning  ash from heaven – put a hospital in- side an aircraft and take it to developing countries,” he says. The organisation began raising funds to buy aircraft and re t them as  ying hospitals, and soon started mounting missions. Using two narrow-bodied aircraft, Global Flying Hospi-


tals has already provided relief in areas struck by natural dis- asters such as Haiti, Japan, New Zealand and Pakistan. The organisation has also been on medical missions in remote ar- eas of West Africa to set up  eld clinics. These clinics, known as domes, are designed to be assembled in less than two hours and their versatility allows them to be used either as treatment centres or as temporary housing. “I clearly recall this 80-year-old lady in Nepal who had


suffered with cataracts for years. She was fending for herself, living in a small wooden hut in the hills. She would climb up and down the same small path holding a staff for support. After the surgery, when her bandages were removed, she had the largest smile that you could imagine. For the  rst time, she could  nd her way home by herself and unassisted.” “Surely, this is what it is all about,” says Mr Newton.


“Transforming people’s lives. It is the most rewarding [thing] all of us can do.”


JULY 2011


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