African Leaders in Aviation Awarded an ISTAT Foundation Grant

ALA is excited to announce that it has been awarded an ISTAT Foundation grant for its upcoming 2022 Aviation & STEM Camp that will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from the 21st till the 25th of September 2022. The funding will be used towards the camp program fees and enable ALA to acquire equipment such as drones and flight simulators.

The ISTAT Foundation was founded in 1994 to support individuals and institutions that promote the advancement of commercial aviation and humanitarianism. It has has five programs that foster interest in, create opportunities for and provide assistance to the global aviation community.

  • Scholarships
  • ISTAT University
  • Grants
  • Internships
  • Humanitarian Aid

About The Kenya Aviation & STEM Camp

In partnership with;
• FEGNe – Fun & Education Global Network
• Precision Aerial Zimbabwe
• Women in Aviation International (Kenya Chapter) and
• We Were Once Them

From 21 to 25 September 2022, ALA will be hosting a 4-day boarding style Aviation & STEM Camp in Nairobi, Kenya. The goal is to expose 200 grade 9 and 10 learners, both boys and girls, from around the Nairobi area – orphanages, slum areas, high-density areas, and other identified youths in need of such a camp to the various opportunities that exist within the Aviation and STEM fields. How? by bringing to them, role models who are well established in the Aviation & STEM field, who look just like them and have come from similar backgrounds. These individuals will hold panel sessions to expose their different areas of expertise, debunk STEM myths, and run practical hands-on workshops.

With the pandemic, many teenage girls have dropped out of school, there is an increase in adolescent
pregnancies, and some have lost hope. At the same time, others remain isolated with no role models and are unaware of the various opportunities in Aviation & STEM, which would also help break cycles of poverty. The impact of such a camp is substantial.

ALA was founded by two African women in the aviation sector, who overcame many obstacles and fought many battles to realize their dreams. In pursuit of their wings they realized how there is not enough information, programs, or support for aviation nor STEM fields particularly in the aviation sector which is why ALA is passionate about its work.

On behalf of the camp attendees, their communities, and our collaborating partners, ALA would like to “Thank You For Your Generosity.” We continue to change the narrative together, one African youth at a time.

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Celebrating African Women in Aviation – Lebo Mokoallo

HOW DID YOU GET INTO AVIATION?

I was introduced to aviation as an Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic Apprentice at South African Airways Technical. I never knew there was such a career in aviation until the day of my interview, I was successful and went through all the process of psychometric tests, background checks and medicals.

HOW WAS/ HAS BEEN YOUR TRAINING?

My training was great. It entailed three phases, which gradually prepared me to work on commercial fleet. I understood my tasks and was guided through the on the job training by skilled Aircraft Maintenance Technicians and Engineers for over six months before I could do my trade test.

Waking up every day to seeing planes taking off, landing, taxing and on the parking bay was the best moments of my training. The complexity of the environment and how I had a small notebook to scribble everything down because everyone there was willing to teach you something and it definitely assisted in my everyday work and trade test.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE AIRCRAFT?

“The queen of the skies” Boeing 747. I think it’s the most beautiful aeroplane ever. It was very efficient back then and mostly used for cargo now but I get goosebumps all the time when I see it. Even thinking of getting a nice painting of it in my bedroom.

ARE YOU WORKING OR A STUDENT?

Both. I’m a Bachelor Engineering Technology in Mechanical Engineering student and now working at UAV Aerial Works as a drone pilot.

WHAT AIRCRAFT ARE YOU FLYING?

Lol I wouldn’t call it an aircraft; I do however have a rating to fly all multirotor drones in BVLOS and as anRPAS Instructor.

WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?

• God, I believe His Mercies keeps me going and My family, definitely my pillars of strength.

ANY MENTORS OR ROUTINE THAT YOU FOLLOW?

I look up to a lot of women in the industry in no particular order, to mention a few Capt Refilwe Ledwaba, Kelebogile Molopyane, Nyasha Manyika, Queen Ndlovu, Kim James, Itumeleng Mokoena, Mpumi Masinga, Major Mandisa Mfeka.

ADVICE TO OTHERS WHO WANT TO TAKE UP AVIATION?

Go for it, the industry is big and growing. Any career you feel can suit you, why not?

YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?

When everything seems to be going against you, remember the aircraft takes off against the wind, not with it” – Henry Ford