Volunteering to better the world around us can take people in many directions, including upward. Using aviation as a means of transporting needed items to desolate locations is a common practice that is often overlooked.

Organizations like the World Food Programme, Iris Global and Mission Aviation Fellowship reach out to obscure villages and communities that cannot be reached by vehicles.

World Food Programme (WFP) works mainly with large amounts of food and medical cargo to provide for the thousands of people living in these remote places. Areas that have suffered from natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes or wars are a focus for WFP.

WFP lands in areas and performs air drops in others where availability to land is too limited. With more than 50 chartered aircrafts in their fleet, some of which are helicopters, WFP is the leader of humanitarian airlines. Their resources and efforts allow them to currently operate 14 separate missions that reach over 250 regular destinations in 20 countries.

WFP’s airline aid system “carried more than 240,800 humanitarian passengers in 2014,” which significantly expanded the impact the organization made in the lives of people.

Between landing operations, airlifts and airdrops, WFP had 242,182 passengers, 40,915 metric tons of cargo, 36,831 metric tons of food and reached exactly 258 different locations in 2014 alone.

Organizations like Iris Global and Mission Aviation Fellowship work to provide cargo and food to villages much like WFP while also being heavily involved with ministry work. Iris Global uses their passion to “aim beyond what we imagine doing in our own strength.”

Iris Global has not limited their impact to only aviation aid missions. Their work extends to building schools, homes and centers for people living in areas Iris Global focuses on. The list of countries is continuing to grow, but has currently reached 14 developing countries.

By pairing aviation missions and groundwork, Iris Global is able to supply communities in places, such as Madagascar and Leone, with the resources needed and the personal aid required to perform medical attention and educational lessons.

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is also a faith-based organization but is much more centered on supplying food to isolated places around the world. The use of Cessna and KODIAK aircrafts allow their highly trained pilots to land in short, rugged terrain that prevents other forms of travel to reach them. MAF flies in doctors, medical supplies, teachers and educational material, evangelists and Bibles, disaster relief aid, food supplies and much more.

MAF pilots fly over a combined two million nautical miles each year among the 52 aircrafts the organizations has in six countries throughout Africa, Asia, Eurasia and Latin America. Such astonishing numbers of aircrafts for the organization helps to reach more families in more villages that are in need of supplies.

All efforts combined, MAF serves people in 14 countries. Along with their sister organization, Mission Aviation Fellowship International, they reach 33 countries around the globe.

The efforts of these three organizations and others like them are helping people in isolated parts of the world to live healthier, fuller lives. Aviation global aid missions erase all limits geography places on us and permits us to travel farther for the sake of others.

– Katherine Wyant

Sources: Mission Aviation Fellowship, World Food Programme, Iris Global
Photo: Flickr