iFLY Singapore Donates 2,000 Free Flights to Nonprofit Beneficiaries
In honor of its 10th anniversary, the wind tunnel is offering free wind tunnel experiences for beneficiaries from 10 different Singaporean charities.
iFLY Singapore has always been a unique tunnel. The 16.5-foot wall-to-wall recirculator is the eponymous island nation’s sole wind tunnel (and one of the largest tunnels in the world, with a 56.5-foot tall chamber and an 18-foot acrylic glass viewing wall).
The facility celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and in honor of a decade of indoor skydiving, iFLY Singapore has offered up two-flight indoor skydiving experiences for 1,000 charity beneficiaries (approximately USD $92,000 total value) entirely free of charge.
The 10 charities and nonprofits taking part in the initiative include the Singapore Disability Sports Centre (SDSC), TOUCH Community Services, and the cancer support nonprofit LOVE, NILS, among others, and the beneficiaries range from underprivileged families to persons with disabilities, migrant domestic workers, and children with various illnesses.
Over seven months, iFLY Singapore will provide the 1,000 beneficiaries and their caregivers with indoor skydiving flight experiences (two skydives per person). “iFLY Singapore believes that the experience of indoor skydiving will bring beneficiaries and their families additional encouragement to continue living fulfilling lives,” said a recent press release, “Especially when they have gone through an even more challenging time during the pandemic for the past two years.”
Lawrence Koh, iFLY Singapore’s founder and CEO, spoke on the motivations behind the initiative. “We hope that this opportunity to fly [will] be a memorable experience for beneficiaries and their families to look back on even when the going gets tough,” he said. “We also hope to encourage them to continue pushing past their fears and limitations, reaching for the skies, and pursuing their dreams.”
“iFLY Singapore has and continues to enjoy the privilege of bringing the unique experience of indoor skydiving to visitors from Singapore and beyond,” he added. “In celebration of our 10th-year milestone, we would like to extend this experience to different beneficiaries and their caregivers who have had to overcome extraordinary challenges in their own lives.”
The first organization to benefit from the project was HOME (Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics) a charity “dedicated to empowering and supporting migrant workers who experience abuse and exploitation.”
Approximately 100 HOME beneficiaries had the opportunity to go indoor skydiving at iFLY Singapore, including 47-year-old Jetky Marie Amores, a Filipino immigrant who has worked in Singapore for 18 years.
For Amores, indoor skydiving was unequivocally inspiring. “My experience today was so fun,” she said. “When I flew high, I wanted to fly more–I (felt like) I could fly more.” Two other beneficiaries, Betty C. De Loretta, also of the Philippines, and Farida Jahrom, of Indonesia, who spoke to The Independent, also loved the experience. 55-year-old Loretta has been a long-time participant in HOME’s learning programs. “I keep learning different kinds of skills–cosmetology, computers, and first aid,” she said. “I feel happy sharing my skills–as long as I help (someone), I feel good.”
HOME, founded in 2004 by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bridget Tan, operates a free-of-charge shelter and 24-7 helpdesks, provides subsidized dental services and outpatient treatment, free legal aid, and runs the HOME Academy. This school provides educational and vocational training programs covering topics ranging from English language to computer literacy, dressmaking, cooking, caregiving, cosmetology, and financial literacy.
According to HOME executive director Deshi Gill, the trip to iFLY wasn’t just about taking the women to do an exciting or enjoyable activity. Indoor skydiving, in her eyes, is a uniquely empowering experience. It allows individuals to take charge, to fly free of inhibitions found on the ground. “Domestic workers don’t usually get the chance to experience this,” Gill said. “I know from beneficiaries that have gone for the flight … they had to overcome their fear to even get into the suit.”
“[Indoor skydiving] empowers them, it allows them to stand up and say I’ll do this for myself. I think the flight itself has allowed our domestic workers to feel appreciated.”
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Published: June 20, 2022 | Last Updated: June 23, 2022