Us in under five minutes
How did you travel to work or school today? Did you get the train? Maybe you drove a car? Chances are you used some form of transport.
Now imagine not having your car. Or being able to afford your usual bus or train. What would happen if your son or daughter needed medical help? How would you get them to hospital?
This is the reality for one billion people around the world. That’s 7 in 10 people worldwide. Or, 15 times the population of the United Kingdom. The majority live in isolated areas and spend an average of 5 hours every day walking to work, to school and to hospitals. Not only does lack of adequate transport keep children out of school or take up time that parents could be using to earn money, but also denies adequate medical care to seriously ill children and adults.
Transportation changes everything! In 2014, I founded Please Take Me There to help change this situation. I believe transportation is a human right priority and we want to help those in need to get access to it, in turn, giving them access to healthcare, new opportunities, empowering their lives.
In Myanmar (Burma), children with cancer often can’t afford to travel to Yangon to the country's only hospital specialising in paediatric oncology. Currently, only 10% of children with cancer receive the treatment they need. Families sell all they own to pay for transport, desperate to save their children. Sometimes they travel up to four days just to be seen by a doctor.
In partnership with the charity World Child Cancer, we are now providing families and children with the financial resources they need to travel to hospital and receive the treatment they need, giving them a much greater chance to survive. Later this year we are running a pilot project, through which we will offer air transportation to children living in remote areas. We are also researching how we could use private aircraft in the future to give isolated populations access to the hospital.
We also work in the UK and Europe. Every Christmas, we reunite families by offering free ground or air transportation to people that can’t afford to pay for their travel.
In our work, we use a combination of different transport solutions. If there is a reliable transport network, we facilitate and fund access to commercial flights, trains, buses and other public transport. In remote areas without an adequate transport infrastructure, we assess the use of leased aircraft suitable for the project profile.
I originally founded Please Take Me There as a community interest company called The Amélia Project (inspired by my daughter, Amélia). We recently became a registered charity. We are based in Cambridge. So far, we have received the support of more than 1,750 children and adults from all over the world. Their donations and time have allowed us to offer transport to hundreds of very ill children and vulnerable adults. We would love to help many more people and charities, but our limited funding restricts how many projects we can work at a given time.
I would like to invite you to visit our website at www.pleasetakemethere.org and learn more about our work. Our charity is open to everyone and you are welcome to join us and be part of a small, but very passionate team.
My commitment to Please Take Me There made me dream of flying again. I logged 40 hours when I was only 19 years old. 21 years later, I am back in the air. But what was once a dream of freedom, today is the dream of helping people get to the places that can give them hope and opportunity. I am very grateful to the Cambridge Aero Club for all their support.
Fernando Pinho, Founder.