Bruce Nishimwe, a licensed pilot who works as a restaurant manager has a dream to become the first African-born black flyer to circle the globe. But, that’s not all. He also wants to give something back to his home country, Burundi.
So, Nishimwe has partnered with Burundi Orphan Relief to help raise money that will sponsor his flight, as well as raise money for the non-profit in order to build a facility in Burundi.
When he completes the journey the aircraft will be named Burundi Orphan Relief. “And we will in turn sell the airplane and use the money to build the orphanage,” said Tom Moher, president of the operation.
Moher added that Nishimwe hopes to lift off for his voyage by the end of 2013. Nishimwe currently lives in San Diego, California, after immigrating to the US from Burundi in 2006.
Moher said that, while there are “challenges” to planning the flight, the mission is worth the effort.
“What we hoped to do was actually build an orphanage and set up a process where it could be self-sustaining,” he said of the fundraising goal.
The organization’s US headquarters is in Florida, but they have also been working in Burundi for six years. When asked why he thought helping children without their parents is something the East African country needs, Moher said that the two-pronged effects of an adult HIV infection rate of 3.3% and a civil war between 1993 to 2005 means there are many children living without parents in Burundi.
According to the UN Childrens Fund’s most recent statistics, there are 610,000 orphans in a country of 8.3 million people.