2012 Annual Report (extract) – major fund raising
During the 2012 Annual Report period, Wings Like Eagles, through the generosity of several donors, raised the funds to leverage into action a helicopter acquired by WLE Logistics Ltd, a company over which we have some control through shared membership.
Thankfully, in 2012 there was no disaster in Southern Africa requiring our response. As reported in last year’s report the trustees decided to concentrate on speeding disaster response and have allowed WLE Logistics to concentrate on building disaster response capability. Wings Like Eagles has made major strides in its objectives to save lives, get the right aid to the right people and provide access to all. WLE Logistics has acquired a helicopter and based it in South Africa.
The trustees chose to invest in this helicopter for three reasons: (a) it is unusual because is is one of the cheapest stretcher equipped helicopters around; (b) it has an overall capability that makes it one of the most highly responsible and sustainable helicopter types; and (c) the helicopter is widely deployable, with a fuel that is available across the region. Thus the aircraft is suitable to fulfil all Wings’ primary objectives. This fit between the helicopter and the control over the company invested in qualified the loan as a Programme Related Investment, in the language of the Charity Commission of England and Wales.
So, after taking legal and accounting advice the trustees appointed a further trustee to ensure any conflicts of interest were properly managed , and after checking commercial comparators, voted to make a loan to WLE Logistics at market rate to enable the helicopter to be moved, imported, registered, insured and maintained for operations in Southern Africa.
The process of making the aircraft ready has taken much longer than anticipated. But after the 2012 year end on 30th June this work was completed, including remedying the facts that the helicopter was not airworthy, was out of date for engineering checks and was registered in a country which sadly based on our experience in 2007 did not make us able to have unfettered access to disaster response across the region.
Wings Like Eagles has enabled this helicopter to be operational for disaster response.
As a result, southern Africa now has an increased disaster response capability that is suited to rapid response and can offer additional support to the afflicted across the region. The trustees initial focus remains Mozambique, for that country was named in much of our early fund raising. We thank our supporters for the commitment, prayers and giving that has made this possible.