From the President – Spring/Summer 2022

Dear Wings of Hope Family,

It’s all about relationships.

Technology can be a wonderful way to bridge distances as we all learned during COVID. Using applications like WebEx, Zoom and Teams allowed us all to keep up with one another, peek into each other’s homes and get a great deal of work done.

Last month, Wings of Hope resumed travel to our global field bases with a trip to Ecuador. Having communicated for two years over the internet, sharing handshakes and hugs with our Ecuadorian partners at Alas de Socorro and meeting new friends throughout the Shell community was a welcome blessing.

It occurred to me that this trip was a lot like what we are trying to achieve for the indigenous people we serve in Ecuador. Nothing beats a face-to-face relationship, but there are times when we need to be able to be in relationship even when we cannot be face-to-face.

This was the case during our trip. Rain prevented us from flying in to visit our friends in the rainforest for six of the seven days that I was in Ecuador. Our colleagues at Alas de Socorro explained that canceled flights from rain is a weekly occurrence.

We also learned that the indigenous people living within the rainforest prefer to live happy, healthy lives in their communities. Like all of us, they do not want to travel great distances for medical care. They want to celebrate the miracle of birth at home. In short, they want to preserve their way of life.

Our trip marked an important step in a journey to provide Alas de Socorro and the community of Shell with new technologies and resources to enhance the aviation experience and answer the call of the indigenous people to be better equipped to live and thrive in their communities.

In the coming weeks and months, we will be working in close collaboration with Alas de Socorro and Shell community stakeholders to make it possible for better communication and consultation to take place, to create the ability to send lifesaving medicines via drones when our airplanes are grounded because of weather, to help strengthen the indigenous leaders to provide more direct and best-practice care in their communities.

Guided by our wonderful field base partners and with a moral mandate to extend opportunities for better health and thriving communities, our best is yet to come.

Read all about it in the pages of this edition of LIFT and come along on this journey with us.

Best regards,

Bret Heinrich,
President & CEO

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