“The love of aviation knows no borders.”
More than 7,500 miles east of Muncie, Indiana, children are enjoying model airplanes. These kids, who live in the Iganga District, one of the poverty-stricken regions of Uganda, are finding joy in building and flying AMA Alphas, Guillow’s gliders, and FPG-9s. The aircraft were sent to them across the Atlantic Ocean from AMA Headquarters in Muncie, thanks to a grant from the Arconic Foundation.
The grant didn’t cover the shipping costs, so an anonymous AMA member paid for the shipping. Someone else sent additional materials to the Uganda Flight Club, operated by Henry Nakisali. The smiles on the kids’ faces show that the grant money is being put to good use.
“Uganda Flight Club means a lot to kids because many modelers help the kids by buying them clothes, food, books, pens, and shoes,” Henry stated via email. “Many kids here have parents that can’t afford to give them scholastic materials but modelers used to send necessities for the kids so the club means a lot to them.”
“The love of aviation knows no borders,” stated AMA Education Director Kyle Jaracz. He put together the boxes of airplane supplies that were sent to the club. AMA also sent the group two Pylon kits and some educational materials.
“Through Uganda Flight Club, many modelers donate model airplanes to kids and they use them to play and learn. This is [aiding] them in discovering their talents and dreams,” Henry added.
If you are wondering how a club so far away from AMA learned about the free materials, the answer is simple. Henry watched a webinar featuring Rick Crosslin. In the video, Rick discussed the aeromodeling curriculum available from AMA through the Arconic Foundation grant. Then he requested a kit, Kyle stated.
The kits are available to teachers, homeschools, and clubs that are interested in teaching aeromodeling and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) principles. AMA received the $100,000 grant in 2019.
—by Rachelle Haughn