2012 Annual Report – more disaster response ability
During the 2012 Annual Report period, Wings Like Eagles, through the generosity of several donors, raised funds to bring into action a helicopter. Acquired by WLE Logistics Ltd, the helicopter operates for a company over which we have some control through shared membership. Our donors made this possible, awesome!
In last year’s report we said that the trustees decided to focus on making a faster response. Thankfully, in 2012 there was no disaster in Southern Africa requiring our response. So we helped WLE Logistics to concentrate on building disaster response capability. In this way, Wings Like Eagles is making major strides in its objectives. We still work to save lives, get the right aid to the right people and provide access to all. And WLE Logistics has acquired a helicopter and based it in South Africa. A helicopter suitable for disaster response.
Why do we make this choice?
The trustees chose to invest in this helicopter for three reasons. First it is one of the cheapest stretcher equipped helicopters around. And it is able to be a highly responsible helicopter type. Also the helicopter is widely deployable. For example it’s fuel is widely available across the region.
Thus this aircraft is suitable to fulfil all Wings’ primary objectives. So this investment qualifies as a Programme Related Investment. That is the language of the Charity Commission of England and Wales. It is used for us because there is a great fit between Wings’ charitable aims and the helicopter capability. We are sorry for the technical language. But you can see that we have been rigorous in doing this right.
So, Wings took legal and accounting advice. And the trustees appointed a further trustee to ensure any conflicts of interest. So, after checking commercial issues, trustees concluded that this was the best investment possible. And they voted to make a loan to WLE Logistics at market rate. This allowed the helicopter to be imported, registered and insured for operations in South Africa.
So what happened next?
It has taken much longer than we thought. Making the aircraft ready taught us a lot. But after the 2012 year end, on 30th June they finished this work. Great! We found out that they had:
- a non airworthy helicopter
- and one out of date for engineering checks
- and one registered in a country which didn’t give us a disaster response we could use across the region.
Our experience in 2007 showed the latter point. Her Tanzanian registration caused the UN to ground us.
So Wings Like Eagles enabled a helicopter to be ready for disasters.
Well, now southern Africa now has an increased disaster response ability. And it is an ability that suits rapid response. It can offer additional support to the afflicted across the region. The trustees initial focus remains on Mozambique. We named that country specifically in much of our early fund raising. So we needed to stick with it. And we thank our supporters for the commitment, prayers and giving that has made this possible.
For the full 2012 Annual Report please go to the Charity Commission.
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