Aviation is an industry that is still male dominated but despite the challenges, 28 year old Kajuju Laiboni has managed to emerge as one of the most visible and outstanding female pilots in the aviation industry.
In December 2008 she networked with 28 like-minded people in Nairobi and organised a charity dinner where they raised money to sponsor a girl from Kibera to become a flight engineer. From this event, Women Aviator in Africa (Wafric) was born. Even before she founded Wafric, she had already started an aviation club at Dagoretti Children’s Rehabilitation Centre, a home that caters for orphaned and needy children, which her mother has long been offering volunteer services too.
She organized a conference in August last year. There were 60 participants from the US, Sweden, China, Uganda and Kenya. During the conference, they asked students from Dagoretti Children’s Rehabilitation Centre to write an essay about their dream, and sponsored a record 15 students.
She has also reached out to children in various rural schools in Murang’a, Meru and to a children’s home in Nakuru. As a mentorship programme, she has started an organisation called ‘It Takes a Village’ which gives sanitary towels to poor girls.
She conducts monthly meetings with family and friends, during which she also collects food, clothes, books and toys that can also be distributed to these needy girls, who mainly live in slums and children’s homes. She has also started aviation mobile libraries an initiative to raise children’s awareness about flying. She has also set aside several days a year for aviation clubs to present what they have done.
Kajuju’s message to girls out there is to stop wasting time worrying about how to get to where they want to be, and instead focus on their dreams and believe in themselves.
Find your purpose, believe in your dreams and do something that you love!