When following passengers on a flight with MAF on any given day, one knows you’re going to hear stories of remarkable change, and at the end of the day your heart is going to feel encouraged by people MAF are flying. Allow me to pass on this encouragement about the incredible work of Pipeline Worldwide.
I spoke at length with Jamie Nollette who is the vibrant Cofounder and President of Pipeline Worldwide who helped birth this highly affective organisation in 2009. Jamie shared how Pipeline first began, ‘When I first visited Uganda in 2007, it was really life changing for myself and my work partner, Chris Carrell. I went back to the USA and began doing a lot of volunteer work and then Chris and I launched Pipeline in 2009. I’ve since then visited Uganda approximately 25 times as well as Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. Over the last 10 years, Pipeline has been supporting sustainable projects specifically involving development in water, construction, solar power and infrastructure. We also focus on healthcare, education and empowerment via business loans and economical support. We’re mostly funded by corporate sponsorships, individual supporters and grants from other foundations.’
Pipeline has impacted over a 100,000 beneficiaries, having drilled 50 boreholes at schools and hospitals where the local partners are accountable to maintain them; shipped medical equipment to Lacor; converted hospitals to solar power; converted containers into housing that comfortably fit 18 people in each; funded students in vocational agricultural schools so they can grow food for their campuses; bought a van for a baby’s hospital; built teachers’ living quarters and more recently they’ve donated 800 masks to hospital partners who were struggling to meet covid requirements. Jamie shared why Pipeline very much depend on trustworthy local partners on the ground to succeed with long term solutions. ‘When you don’t have boots on the ground, local partners are essential to oversee the projects. We’ve had an enduring relationship in Moyo for the last 10 years with the local community.’
Jamie’s strategic mind doesn’t shy away from the problems she comes across in developing nations. ‘When we learn about a problem, we design a solution. For example, we visited a couple of villages on this trip that were at high elevation so have never had access to lake water. We had our water engineer assess the situation, then we created a water committee and helped design some ideas. I’m the facilitator, but the people that come on board help bring things together. I’m good at connecting people and most people want to be part of something good, but they often don’t know how…we offer them a way to do that. We’re not so much asking for money but for people’s experience.’ On this flight we were able to bring Kelly (Senior Project Manager at a university in the USA) and Todd (Project Manager for a large contractor involved in Solar Projects) for their very first visit and flight with MAF. We also flew Rebecca (Insurance Manager for American Family Insurance who offer a lot of grants) who has come for seven visits alongside Jamie. Another passenger on board was Bruce (Ugandan media professional who helps Pipeline with their photography/video and social media)
Jamie first came across MAF in November 2020 due to flooding which messed with her plans to go by road. ‘We would always drive the long journey to Moyo which would take a few days also visiting projects enroute in Gulu. This trip entailed taking a ferry across the Nile, but in November it was flooded. This is when we discovered MAF, right when covid was making it a lot harder timewise to fit in such a long road trip. It’s too long when we’re visiting with professionals who don’t have a lot of time to take off work. Now that we’ve flown with MAF we’re going to keep flying because we’re reaching remote communities much more effectively.’
MAF is privileged to help facilitate the worldwide team that Pipeline have enlisted to bring about extraordinary and positive developments in East Africa.
Story: Jill Vine
Photos: Dave Forney