The mother of an RAF student pilot from Burgess Hill who died last year has set up a charity project to build an orphanage in his memory.
Cameron Forster, 21, died in a plane crash in North Yorkshire in April 2016 with his friend Ajvir Sandhu.
In August last year, his mother Amanda Jayne launched Cameron’s Orphanage Project to house children in Africa.
Amanda wants to make it Cameron’s legacy and said:
“He’d graduated from RAF Cromwell as an officer and he had completed his basic flying training and was selected to fly fast jets.
“He was an extremely accomplished young man in many different areas, he was not just academically gifted, he was a brilliant musician, he played the guitar, the recorder, and the oboe.”
According to Amanda, Cameron and Ajvir were performing an aerobatic sequence in a light aircraft, which went into a spin when it eventually crashed and they both died.
The objective of the project is to raise enough money to build an orphanage in a remote village called Mkushi in Zambia, Africa.
Amanda is a teacher, and was shocked to learn more than 400 children in the village are orphans, after leading an expedition through the area, visiting a school run by the Itala Foundation charity last July.
“Whilst I was working at this charity school with this team of students I learnt from talking with the head master there that over half of the 850 pupils were orphans.
“The need for a small orphanage became immediately apparent, not just to provide shelter but to give these children a home, a sense of belonging and family which they so desperately needed.”
Amanda and a group of Cameron’s friends are travelling to Zambia in August to help build the orphanage and a creche.
More than 20 people are taking part, and they plan to construct the building in two weeks.
“He [Cameron] would be almost embarrassed to see so many of his friends giving up their time, energy, and money to contribute towards something in his name.
“The idea is now to try and put projects in place which will enable not just the orphanage but the charity school in Mkushi itself.”