Truth be told, I had never heard of her. I was trying to find inspiration about hope with a link with flying. In my research, I came across the American poet Emily Dickinson who lived in the mid-1800s. Turns out she is one of the most important figures in American poetry.

So why research ‘Hope’?

The economic asteroid named coronavirus has hit our dear industry. Amid lockdowns and quarantines, the capacity of operators in aviation and civil aviation authorities to dedicate resources to safety promotion is under serious pressure.

Hope is the belief that circumstances in the future will be better. It’s not a wish that things will get better, but an actual belief, even when there may be no evidence that anything will change. Hope is sometimes being cast aside as something useless. But there is something endearing about its endurance when times are bleak.

In her work “Hope is the Thing with Feathers,” Emily Dickinson writes about hope as a bird that continues to sing despite not knowing the words, despite being stuck in a storm, despite the worst of conditions. Dickinson writes that the singing bird kept others warm, without asking for anything in return.

When it comes to the recovery of the aviation industry, Africa is in a different position then quite a few other regions in the world when it comes to the role of air transport. Air transport is perhaps the only form of transport that is truly well suited to Africa’s geographic vastness, and it has become the primary means of international and sometimes of national travel in Africa. You only have to look up Kai Krause’s famous map ‘The True Size of Africa’ on Google. Africa will need aviation, ideally of course in a more sustainable way too. Bridging the vast distances will require air links. That is not a matter of hope – it’s a matter of purpose.

Hope in these times of corona lies in rebuilding of the role of aviation, in supporting the people that make our industry work and make it work safely. Hope also lies in the young graduates and professionals that are looking for their place in the labour market. Africa is a young continent with the majority of the population soon to consist of “Millenials.”

At AviAssist, we don’t just hope. We combine our belief in the next generation of aviation professionals with the creation of opportunities. That is why we are recruiting our first student assistant at the AviAssist Safety Promotion Centre – Rwanda. That is why we are recruiting a new marketing intern, ready to help and learn, move to a better place. That is why we’ll be creating many more opportunities for engineering students from Africa. And that is how we nurture hope – by creating opportunities.

AviAssist is like Dickinson’s bird: we are leading, building and supporting safety promotion and are asking not much in return. We have a small army of professional volunteers that expect nothing else in return for their safety promotion services than an opportunity to serve safety with you, fuelled by a passion for safety. We are ready to play our unique role to play in the recovery of the African aviation sector.

Come create with us and join us in our work for safety. Be our local representative, our instructor, our trainee.