- Refilwe Ledwaba is the first black South African woman to fly a helicopter
- She's now on a mission to teach young girls how to fly
- She does this through her Girl Fly Programme in Africa Foundation
Refilwe Ledwaba, the first black woman in South Africa to fly a helicopter, is on a mission to teach young girls to fly.
She is the founder of Girl Fly Programme in Africa Foundation, BBC reports. It's a nonprofit organisation that encourages girls to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
The Foundation organises an annual week-long aviation camp for 14- to 18-year-old girls in Southern Africa, Briefly.co.za learned.
In addition to learning about robotics and aviation, the teenage girls get a free flying lesson each from Ledwaba. She explained:
When these girls take their first flight, it's such an exciting feeling because you can see it on their faces. You can see that nervousness but then you start seeing that excitement as well.
One of the girls who took to the skies recently is 14-year-old Paballo Leqhotsa. She was super excited and said, "It was amazing. I felt like I was in control, do you understand?"
The Limpopo-born Ledwaba said all she wants is the girls to grow into successful and confident women, even if they don't become pilots.
Ledwaba is also the founder and CEO of Women & Aviation. According to its Facebook page, it's a nonprofit organisation that:
Connects, empowers, and inspires women in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, with a focus on the aviation and space industry in Africa.
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