Spirit Of The Season: Zambian Boy Gets First Flight

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Joseph Banda, a 13-year-old boy living in a Zambian ghetto, took his first flying lesson recently thanks to the generosity of patrons of the BBC. Edmond Farmer, a flying instructor in Zambia, was paid by a BBC listener to give Banda his first flying lesson, the BBC reported Thursday. Other listeners are organizing a fund for the well-spoken boy's education. Banda was introduced to the public in a September BBC audio feature in which he described his life growing up in a hometown that suffers from severe unemployment, unsanitary conditions, drugs and disease. In that piece he also described his dream of becoming a pilot. Touched listeners then reached out to the BBC to help Joseph realize at least part of his dream. Click through for a link to the BBC's audio.

Banda lives in Chibolya, one of the most depressed parts of Zambia's capital, Lusaka, according to the BBC. "Locals nickname it Baghdad because of the violence and drugs trade that flourishes there," the news service reported. You can hear Banda in his own words, here.