November 28th is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that encourages everyone to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. This year we have teamed up with MAF, the world’s largest humanitarian air operator, to highlight the amazing work they are doing to help mums-in-need around the world.
If you would like to do something amazing to help another mama, click below to donate now. And read on for Baby Hajam’s story.
The remote island of Atauro in Timor Leste, Southeast Asia, is home to Hajam’s now proud parents Eliazefa and Saloman. The former Portuguese colony of ‘East Timor’ became independent in 2002, after a quarter of a century of brutal repression that followed an invasion by Indonesian military forces. In spite of valuable natural resources such as gas and marble, Timor-Leste remains one of the most underdeveloped countries in Asia. 42% of its 1.4 million population live below the poverty line.
Hajam’s hope – the only air ambulance for a nation with minimal healthcare
Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) – the world’s largest humanitarian air operator – has been providing the only critical emergency medevac flights for Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Health since 2007. We provide ‘Mama care packs’ with essential basic supplies, as even the main hospitals often run out.
MAF Pilot Jan Klassen explains:
“Living on an island with only limited care is a huge disadvantage when time is a critical factor. That’s the reason why MAF is flying medevacs from Atauro – simply to save lives.
Nurse Amelia, Guido Valadares National Hospital (HNGV) adds:
“MAF’s presence in Timor-Leste is very important for us in helping Timorese people in remote areas who need emergency medical evacuation to get special treatment at HNGV.”
Eliazefa faced every expectant mother’s worst nightmare
The fever, the chills, the cramping. Eliazefa knew something was dangerously wrong with her baby. The local clinic confirmed the worst. She had a life-threatening infection that needed expert medical care unavailable on her home island of Atauro.
As her husband Saloman looked on, he felt the anxiety rising. The nearest hospital in the capital Dili was a three-hour boat ride away on choppy seas. Eliazefa would likely never make it.
This nightmare is faced by thousands of families in the most remote regions on earth. Their location denies them access to even basic healthcare that most of us don’t think twice about.
But for mum & baby there was a glimmer of hope…
MAF was quick to mobilise an emergency flight and get the young family to the Dili capital city hospital in just 15 minutes.
“I was frightened…but when I heard that an MAF plane will come, I felt like there was hope.”
Eliazefa, Hajam’s mum
She safely delivered a healthy baby boy named Hajam. The 15-minute flight saved their lives. After three days in the national hospital, MAF flew them home. They are very much looking forward to their first Christmas as a family.
But there are many, many more babies and mothers who don’t survive. Living in isolated locations and denied access to urgent basic healthcare in a crisis. A donation of just £45 enables a 20-minute ‘air-ambulance’ life-saving flight, whilst £98 can enable three 15-minute emergency flights to save precious lives like Hajam’s.
In 2022, MAF was able to carry out over 1,100 life-saving medevacs in more than 25 countries worldwide.
This is a partnership with MAF
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