WOA SA targets two demographics:
- High potential individuals who receive leadership training and are shown the diversity of employment opportunities in aviation through our Educational Aviation Awards initiative. In addition, they assume leadership positions in WOA as part of our learn-by-doing ethos.
- The broader population, which participates in our activities by registering with our LinkedIn affinity group. This social media site provides employment opportunities with sponsoring institutions, training on how to build a resume, information regarding aviation events, and opportunities to increase their knowledge.
WOA SA’s work in South Africa recently received two major recognitions:
- The Aeronautical Society of South Africa awarded Donald Schenk the John Weston Award for Wonders of Aviation’s work in helping develop human capital.
- The Aero Club of South Africa awarded Daniel Ralefeta its Silver Wings Award for the work Daniel Ralefeta does with the Aero Club’s Transformation and Development division, which exposes thousands of youngsters to aviation.
In addition, the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is preparing a documentary on how WOA transformed Gift Kgadima into the leader he is today.
WOA USA's objectives are to:
- Demonstrate that aviation provides opportunities for everyone irrespective of their gender, race, or creed.
- Help teenagers who demonstrate a love and enthusiasm for aviation.
- Support existing educational initiatives and help new ones get started.
- Find ways to minimize educational costs by using underutilized assets.
- Help design metrics for measuring effectiveness.
- Be a forum for sharing information and ideas.
- Be a source of mentors and role models.
- Create a community of aviation volunteers.
The Wright Brothers created the single greatest cultural force since the invention of writing. The airplane became the first World Wide Web, bringing people, languages, ideas, and values together.
In 2018 WOA SA will support a robust programme for high potential individuals.
The winners of the 2018 Educational Aviation Awards will participate in several activities, including: flying Airbus and Boeing simulators; visiting the OR Tambo International Airport Control Tower; flying gliders; and other hands-on experiences. They will receive leadership training, such as: critical thinking; business writing; and entrepreneurial training, and they will participate in industry-sponsored events in townships where the most underprivileged are exposed to aviation.
WOA SA relies on volunteers for most of its work, and on industry to provide free use of surplus capacity on simulators and wind tunnels. However, WOA SA covers costs such as transport, food, materials, and housing for multi-day events.
The 2018 WOA SA expenses are expected to total R1,600,000, with two thirds being provided by South African supporters.
Award Winners/our accomplishments are our people
Buhle Dlodlo is our first Award Winner who is an aeronautical engineering student. She is one of Wits University’s top aeronautical engineering students, a past National Aerospace Centre (NAC) Scholarship recipient, and has taken the time to help with WOA.
Buhle is in the process of designing a program that will encourage high school students to read more books about aviation; and is helping Wits' NAC develop an exciting one day program our Award Winners.
Buhle was part of the South African Aero Squad team from Wits University that made it into the top 50 in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas competition.
Buhle is a 2016 WOA Award Winner, and the 2017 Schenk Family Award Winner. Read more about Buhle and her inspirational journey...
Gift Kgadima is a product of the Aero Club of South Africa’s Transformation and Development division and was one of WOA’s first Award Winners. He demonstrates the leadership we hope to see in all our team.
Gift demonstrated his early leadership skills at the Cornerstone College, Silverton, Pretoria where he learned to fly drones. His commitment to making a difference in Africa's fight against wildlife poaching, led to him flying drones for Air Shepherd, an organization supported by the Lindbergh Foundation, that uses drones to protect elephants in Africa.
Gift is a 2016 Schenk Family Award Winner, was elected Secretary of WOA in 2017, and has been awarded a 2017 WOA
bursaryto help him pursue his pilot training. Read more about Gift and his inspirational journey...
by Garth Calitz. Flightline Weekly. 6 November 2017
On a sweltering evening the Aero Club of South Africa hosted their annual awards dinner at Zwartkops Air Force Base . At 4:30 in the afternoon the guests started arriving at the beautiful Hangar 5 at this historic Air Force Base. After a welcome drink, the Air Force Museum treated everyone to a beautiful display of their pride and joy the de Havilland Vampire, flown by Col Glen Warden. Read more...
WOA news. 25-26 October 2017
WOA's founder, Don Schenk, was invited to present the John Weston Lecture at this year's AeSSA annual conference.
John Weston was a South African aeronautical engineer, pioneering aviator, farmer and soldier. In 1911, Weston founded the Aeronautical Society of South Africa. The Society hosts a bi-annual memorial lecture in his honour. Weston also established the John Weston Aviation Company to raise funds for the establishment of a flying school with a permanent aerodrome. The company's wealthy sponsors funded flying demonstrations in South Africa and Mozambique.
Don's lecture was titled: People, Knowledge & Innovation. He introduced and discussed the progress that Wonders of Aviation has made over the past few years. This was a wonderful platform for Wonders of Aviation, and he has been invited to be more involved at the 2018 annual conference which will be held in Cape Town. Read more...
WOA news. 25-26 October 2017
Don Schenk, on behald of Wonders of Aviation, was presented with the 2017 John Weston Award by AeSSA in recognition of the work the NGO is doing to develop human capital and support previously disadvantaged youth in the South African aviation industry. Read more...
WOA news. 16 October 2017
The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) held its 47th AGA from 12 to 15 October 2017, at the Wild Coast Sun in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. The theme of the AGA was Building Human Capital for African Airlines. AASA sponsored the attendance of Gift Kgadima, WOA Secretary, to the 3-day annual event, and Comair Limited sponsored his flights. Read more...
By Brian Clark Howard for National Geographic, 1 November 2016
During an early morning scouting mission, Air Shepherd drone pilots Tom Lautenbach and Gift Kgadima were driving in Hwange, getting a feel for the land that they have been flying their drones over for the past few weeks...
Read the full article: news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/11/elephant-rescued-well-zimbabwe-hwange-national-park/
Video published with permission granted by Erik Lindbergh of the Lindbergh Foundation.
Success is not measured by what a man accomplishes, but by the opposition he has encountered and the courage with which he has maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.