MAF to the rescue

Fingers on triggers, the soldiers turn to look at a group of young girls. South Sudan’s Juba Airport is packed with more people than they’ve seen here in a long time. It’s almost at a standstill.

A group of orphans were getting a good education in the town of Yei, until reports of revenge killings made it imperative for them to escape.

With ‘roads’ unsafe and mobile networks down, an MAF aircraft was their only way back to the safety of their orphanage in Juba. With a foreign president flying to the capital on the same day, MAF had its work cut out, but squeezed in two extra emergency flights to bring the orphans back home.

Piling off the MAF aircraft, the overjoyed girls run towards their ‘Auntie Cathy’ – the leader of the orphanage. MAF has a long history with the organisation that runs the orphanage: Confident Children out of Conflict (CCC).

CCC finds orphans like Lizzie clinging to life in the city’s slums, cemeteries, markets and in the growing number of camps for internally displaced people. Their new home protects them from hunger, violence and rape.

Three years ago, CCC took Michael under its wing after he was shot on his way home from school. With a seriously damaged leg, and his brother miles away in a refugee camp, he had no-one to help him in his hour of need except the staff at the orphanage.

Children like Lizzie and Michael are the future of South Sudan. Instead of fear, these precious children – and many more like them – now have food, clothes, books and a safe place to live. And adults who love them.

This rescue was one of more than 100 MAF flights during the country’s recent civil unrest. Today, the need for our planes remains desperate throughout the nation, especially since famine was declared in February. MAF has served in South Sudan for over 60 years and remains committed to supporting aid agencies with relief flights wherever the need exists.

Read more inspirational stories of MAF’s work on behalf of the South Sudanese people


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