Communities get wings

Communities get wings

One needn’t take to the air to help those less fortunate fly. The team from Lanseria International Airport realised this, and is giving communities surrounding the airport the means to do so.

On Wednesday July 18 (Mandela Day), the Lanseria airport community, tenant body and nine BCCOCC government departments descended on the near by Kwena-Malapo Senior Secondary School. Throughout the day, staff were encouraged to help clean and paint the school as part of their 67 minutes for Mandela Day. The school’s vegetable garden was also refurbished and a large billboard with its name was sponsored.

“We wanted the learners to be proud of their school environment and we really did make a difference,” says Johan Opperman, PR manager at Lanseria International Airport.

Later in the month, on Friday July 27, the airport’s community distributed clothing and blankets at the surrounding Malaaitjies and Thabo Mbeki informal settlements as part of the airport’s Warmer Winter drive. The airport community was requested to contribute towards clothing and blankets and Lanseria matched the raised amount. The handout was then jointly done with community NGO Rifilwe. “We were very pleased that we made a welcome contribution and helped to alleviate the plight of a lot of people in dire need of clothing and warm blankets,” continues Opperman.

Lanseria’s involvement in these efforts is part of its greater corporate social responsibility drive – to equip surrounding communities and raise up leaders in and amongst the youth. So the effort has not ended there. Troubled by the fire-related deaths in surrounding informal settlements, the airport’s training department has embarked on an ongoing process to provide certified first aid training courses and basic fire-fighting skills to teachers and learners of surrounding schools. “The idea is to enable community leaders to practise first-line fire-fighting,” says Opperman.

The airport has also embarked on aviation-related vocational guidance for grade 11 and 12 students identified by Kwena-Malapo to have great potential. “We‘ll expose learners to the various job and career opportunities within the airport,” says Opperman. “The aim is to provide training courses to learners so that when they finish school, they’ve completed a number of courses that are prerequisites for employment at the airport, making them that much more eligible for employment.”

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