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FIVE AREAS OF SERVICE


Educational programs. Mercy Air believes education is one of the keys to uplifting communities from poverty. The organization routinely supports existing schools, and also participates in the development and construction of new schools.


Medical services. Given that Mercy Air serves people in such remote areas, providing medical care not only improves the recipient’s quality of life, but also may be the difference between life and death. Mercy Air commonly transports medical specialists into the bush to provide wound care, dental care, ophthalmology services, malaria intervention, and vaccination programs.


Church and missionary support. Mercy Air partners with and supports many of the local churches and missionaries who are doing things that uplift their communities.


Agricultural education and implementation. Mercy Air supports initiatives that assist community access to clean water and food. The helicopters can also be used to bring in materials for building wells, and pumps for crop irrigation and clean water supply. “In many areas, the people only eat manioc, which is a single-sided staple that provides little nutritional balance. By diversifying the diet and improving water hygiene, many illnesses can be prevented,” Mercy Air Helicopter Program Director Matthias Reuter said.


Disaster response and relief. Mercy Air aircraft are typically the first into areas hit by natural disasters. In March 2019, tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall near Beira, Mozambique. Less than six weeks later, Cyclone Kenneth dealt a hard blow to northern Mozambique. Catastrophic flooding from the storms affected close to 2.2 million people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi and caused an unprecedented amount of death and destruction. “We spent several days pulling people from trees and rooftops during the flooding after Idai,” Reuter says. “There were people who took their food and goats up into the trees and waited for up to four days to be rescued.”


Photo: International Institute Disaster Management, Mozambique 64 Nov/Dec 2020


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