Young African Aviation Professional Organisation Cameroon
Commonwealth Point of Light 107. Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo
Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo, representing Cameroon, is the founder of the ‘Young African Aviation Professional Organisation’ (YAAPA), which supports girls and underprivileged children in rural areas forge careers in aviation.
Founded in 2014, YAAPA has helped over 10,000 young people, hosting career events, visits and mentorship programmes where young people can meet professionals in the industry. YAAPA’s Heleta Aviation Scholarship Programme has supported more than 500 children to continue their education and they are also planning a programme to build community centres in rural locations to provide access to libraries and computers.
Fadimatou was presented with her award by the UK High Commissioner in Cameroon, Rowan Laxton.
Rowan Laxton, UK High Commissioner to Cameroon, said:
“Fadimatou’s ceaseless efforts to support young women and underprivileged children have helped hundreds of individuals, drawn fresh talent into the aviation industry and served as an inspiration to thousands of others. Her work is a shining example of the impact that dedicated and skilled volunteers can make to brighten people’s lives.”
Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo said:
“I am so happy to have won this award as it comes as a great and pleasant surprise for me. The work I have been doing in promoting aviation, travel and tourism has become my passion as inspiring the next generations and mostly giving to the underprivileged youths the opportunity to see what the world offers is my determination.
“Some years ago, I was moved with discovering the important role aviation has in developing all economies and realised how many people, especially in rural areas, could not think about a career in aviation. I started with a team of volunteers to raise awareness through youth events and building bridges with other African countries to share best practices and partners to promote both our countries and hear our experiences.
“We launched the ‘Youth Aviation Forum’ for Africa in 2016, and as we found out the needs in schools in these rural areas and the underprivileged, we initiated programmes to support them. With a growing number of youths interested but with no facilities, we are working on launching community centers with the launch of the Youth Aviation Tech Africa program. We want these youths to learn about aviation and ICT for them to use their creativity on impacting the change we would like to see.
“Receiving this award makes my team of volunteers and myself proud and determined to do more outreach and raise more awareness to youths for no one to be left behind. A great thank you to her Majesty the Queen of England for this great initiative.”
Watch Fadimatou explain more about the work of Young African Aviation Professional Organisation: