JAM’s Founder and Group CEO, Peter Pretorius (second from left), former JAM cameraman, Gerry Prinsloo (third from right), and Barry Mcnamara, far right, (VP of JAM Water Services).
Taken during a field visit to Angola in 1992, this image tells a story that could have come straight out of Hollywood. During the trip, Peter heard about children in desperate need of assistance at a clinic in the Ganda Municipality of Benguela Province.
At the time, Angola was in a state of civil war and travelling long distances was only possible by air or military escort. Using JAM’s “Life Angel” aeroplane, Peter and the team managed to travel to Ganda, but just as they were about to land, they saw that a battle was taking place at the airstrip and were forced to return to JAM’s base in Lobito.
Undeterred, Peter, and the team, managed to ‘hire’ a helicopter from air force and embarked on what he was to call one of the scariest experiences of his life. “We flew so low to the ground, dodging trees to avoid getting shot down.” On arrival in Ganda, the trio managed to hire one of two working pickup trucks in the town. What would happen next proves that real life can indeed be stranger than fiction.
After loading the truck, the team travelled through the town only for the other truck in the town to drive through the town’s single intersection and crash into the team’s vehicle. Both vehicles were subsequently too damaged to drive and fortunately no one was injured. But, Peter and the team were still determined to travel to the clinic and deliver the much-needed supplies. Eventually, they discovered a passing tractor with a trailer loaded with cattle manure. After clearing the manure, and negotiating with the driver, they were transported in the somewhat smelly and rickety tractor and trailer to the clinic. Their effort to overcome severe obstacles that day is an example of the spirit that JAM has been built on.
In JAM’s 30 years of service, our team has overcome many adventures in their quest to deliver food and lifesaving necessities to children and communities in need of aid. At JAM, we are called to serve by helping those in need, and we will continue serving for as long as we are needed.