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From Texas to Tanzania: Flying the Extra Mile

December 16, 2014

A helicopter rounds into view from above the mountainous terrain, where the peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro stretch nearly 20,000 feet into the sky. On the ground at the local airport and in the remote village of Rau, both children and adults anticipate the helicopter’s arrival with excitement and joy. For many it’s the first time they’ve seen a helicopter.

The happy landing marks the end of a more than 9,000-mile journey of supplies and funding for the village and nearly 100 orphans housed by Neema International. Neema is run by Houston native Mandy Stein, and this year the eighth-grade class from her hometown school began collecting supplies and raising money to help the orphans.

When Bristow and Ceva Logistics became aware of the project, they stepped in to pay the shipping costs. But that was just the start.

Bristow added a donation that matched the students’ fund-raising total, and employees at the corporate office in Houston volunteered to coordinate shipment of the supplies to Tanzania. The increased support helped expand the effort’s scope from the orphanage to the entire village of 10,000 people.

“We were able to add a second floor to the children’s home to include classrooms, a library and computer lab that will also serve as a community center,” Stein says. “We will be able to offer a wide variety of outreach programs to help promote a sustainable lifestyle.”

After delivering the supplies and funds, the helicopter stayed for a while and the children were able to climb aboard the aircraft and talk with the flight crew. A few lucky people even had their first helicopter ride. “I have never seen the children happier,” Stein says. “It was truly an incredible experience for everyone and the children’s laughter and smiles are forever etched in our memories.”

Through our Bristow Uplift program, we are pleased to be able to give back to communities wherever we operate around the world, and we want our clients to know that we appreciate your contribution to these efforts.