Beloved Ina Melen – one of Airline Ambassadors stars passed away suddenly and will be dearly missed.  Ina was a true Ambassador of Goodwill and a delight to everyone who met her.  She promoted Airline Ambassadors in Boston and around the world. She brightened the lives of orphans in Colombia and volunteered regularly for our Children’s Medical Escort program. Anyone who knew Ina was touched by her enthusiasm, love for life, impeccable grooming  and pride in being an American Airlines flight attendant..   We are dedicating our next mission to South Africa in her name – and bringing her spirit with us. Below is her obituary in the Boston Globe.

INA MELEN, Ina S. Of Newton, on July 15, 2018. Beloved wife of Ralph Melen. Devoted mother of Debra Fields and her husband Elwyn, Nathan Melen and his wife Shana. Loving grandmother of Matthew and Hannah Fields, and Daisy Melen. Dear sister of Fred Butt. Ina was very much a career woman. Before her marriage to Ralph, she was a stewardess with the former Northeast Airlines. With marriage forcing retirement from that position, she married Ralph, mothered two children and continued in the business field working for Polaroid in marketing, following which she became a promotional advocate for Estee Lauder. After guiding her children through college and with her continued interest in flying, Ina joined American Airlines as a flight attendant for 23 years, retiring in 2013. Ina loved fashion and relations with people, so those work connections certainly accommodated that passion. Family, friends and passion tell Ina’s life in its simplest sense.

Services at Temple Beth Shalom, 670 Highland Ave., on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 10 am. Interment at Congregation Shirat Hayam Cemetery of the North Shore, Temple Beth El Section, 506 Lowell St., Peabody, MA.

Memorial observance will be at the home of Debra and Elwyn Fields, Wednesday 3-8 pm and Thursday 2-4 & 7-9 pm.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Temple Beth Shalom, or Airline Ambassadors International,


An empty seat by the aisle.                                    See this Video

The confused look in the light-blue eyes of a young woman.

Imaginary clothes drawn with a red marking pen on the frail body of a three-year-old.

The slight shiver of the teenage girl in the boarding line at the gate.

Cupped hands upraised to the sky.

A bruise on a cheek.

They all tell a story.

A tale of anguish and pain, of endurance and hope in which every one of us can play a part.

All these stories are a cry for help, coming from people experiencing intolerable levels of hardship all over the world. Some of them are victims of starvation, war, and natural disasters. Others, of sex trafficking. We can lend them a helping hand unconditionally. We can help at least one of the millions of children who are hungry, cold, and have no access to clean water or education. We can learn about the indicators of human trafficking, recognize, and report them. We can match our unique interests and skills to human need. We can make a difference when we travel.

That’s what Nancy Rivard has been doing since 1986 when she founded the Airline Ambassadors. After her father suddenly passed away on Christmas Eve, she found out at only twenty-nine, that loving one another and being of service is what ultimately makes life worth living. It became the young flight attendant’s life purpose — and made her unstoppable.

Her contagious enthusiasm, courage, and dedication to making a positive impact in the world eventually won over other flight attendants, airport employees, some of the big players in the airline industry, the U.N., and people like you. For them, Nancy Rivard is more than the founder of a successful non-profit organization dedicated to providing assistance to children worldwide and putting a stop to human trafficking. She is a trailblazer for the extraordinary impact ordinary people can make in the world by talking less, doing more and bringing love into action.

“Wings of Love” is the next chapter to be written in the Airline Ambassadors history. This memoir based on Nancy Rivard’s odyssey of self-discovery is meant to inspire and empower people from around the world.  Men and women, young and older people alike can take a step forward towards their soul, find their life purpose and fulfill it — by being of service. Nancy opens up her heart and reveals the good and bad, the happy moments and heartbreaking challenges, the unexpected traps, and powerful lessons. At a time where the mass media portrays the world as a place of hatred and separation, “Wings of Love” makes a case for kindness, compassion, and generosity as inherent features of the human soul.  How? By our inter-connectedness and power to change the world through caring for one another.

Yet, “Wings of Love” is more than just a life-changing book that will inspire you to embark on a profound search for meaning and ask yourself the essential question, “How can I serve?” The book’s earnings will give wings to more humanitarian missions and help the organization reach new territories with airline industry-specific training programs on human trafficking awareness.

For all this to happen, for us to release the book in 2018 and make a bigger and better positive impact in the world, we need your support. We need to raise funds to make “Wings of Love” an outstanding, high-quality book available in digital, print and audio formats, translate it in several languages and implement a global promotion campaign so that we build a tidal wave of goodwill on this planet.

Any contribution, even the smallest one, can help. We can do this together. Thank you for joining us in bringing love into action and “Wings of Love” on the bookshelves.  THANK YOU!

Wings of Love  Book Description

What is the path to happiness, true love, and fulfillment? For Nancy Rivard, the founder of the internationally acclaimed non-profit organization Airline Ambassadors and the 2017 recipient of Perdita Huston Human Rights Award, it was finding her life purpose. Falling in love with humanity and being of extraordinary service. The twenty-nine-year-old California native had already given up a soaring corporate career as VP of American Airlines to become a flight attendant and travel around the globe when a heart-wrenching event started her on a seven-year search for spiritual meaning.





Nancy had miraculous meetings with the great spiritual teachers Sathya Sai Baba and Babaji Francesco Atmananda as well as magical experiences such as a UFO encounter and her first visit to Medjugorje. She’d worked with some of the world’s brightest minds. These experiences eventually revealed the answer to her burning question. She found out that women were not victims, but powerful beings with a sacred mission to restore peace and harmony on our planet. She realized that her life purpose was to meet real need and bring love into action.

Armed with faith, passion, and courage, against all the odds and all alone, she endeavored to make a difference and influence the travel industry, the largest one in the world and help millions of people around the world. It was by following her heart and staying faithful to her calling that Nancy also found true love and her soul partner.






In this riveting memoir, Nancy Rivard takes you on a fantastic love adventure that spans several decades and continents, from the war-engulfed Bosnia of the 90s to the earthquake-devastated Haiti of the year 2010, passing through hurricane-stricken New Orleans and impoverished El Salvador. She portrays loneliness, sacrifice, betrayal, temptation, danger, and loss as opportunities that made her grow as a human being — from an idealistic (but lost) young woman into the global role model she is today. Nancy also shares one of the most beautiful love stories of the modern times, how it blossomed when she least expected it, and how it endured the test of time, hardships, and separation.






Nancy Rivard’s journey is your journey. It represents the essential cycle each of us must go through as we move towards self-actualization, expressing our authentic self, and remembering we are love. It will inspire you to follow the promptings of your heart, and ultimately ask yourself the essential question –

“How can I serve?”


               Something as simple as buying a bracelet can help a disabled person in Nepal.

Alongside the jewels and fossils of the island store is a shelf of handmade bracelets, and the profits from those bracelets fund the fledgling program Diapers for Dignity which creates and distributes reusable diaper kits to Nepal’s disabled population.

“Nepal became a place for me in 1979 when I was selected for the Dooley Foundation Stewardess volunteer program,” said Orcas islander Kate Jewell, who has a doctorate in naturopathy, director of AirIntermed Nepal and creator of Diapers for Dignity. “I remember frantically scanning the entire map of Africa, looking for this soon-to-be home where I would be living and working for three months. Then, thankfully, someone told me Nepal was in Asia.”

At the time Jewell was working with an immunization team based out of a town called Gorkha. There was no running water, no bathrooms or electricity in the house in which she stayed.

“Working with the people, trekking this beautiful land with incredible vistas of multigreen rice paddies ringed by the snow-capped Himalayas was physically draining and magical,” Jewell said. “I fell in love with Nepal and her people.”

Jewell returned to Nepal throughout the 1980s. It gradually became a distant memory, she said. That was until the earthquake of 2015.

“I knew I had to do something,” Jewell said. “Long story short, I revamped the volunteer program (Air Intermed) with the help of Dooley/Intermed International, Airline Ambassadors International and Mission Himalaya.”

Air Intermed offers participants the opportunity to work at the EcoHome for Children in Nepal. Airline Ambassadors International trains airline personnel how to spot human trafficking. The result of the partnership between the two is an organization that focuses on teaching orphans and Nepali children how to recognize potentially dangerous situations.

$10 for a set of three

Through friends Jewell was introduced to a man named Devendra Amgain who owns a company called Craft to Care which employs 400 women saved from human trafficking.

“He teaches them how to make beautiful, beaded bracelets and (the women) create the intricate designs,” Jewell said. “The bracelets are crafted by stringing many, many beads (and counting the pattern) on a single thread, then taking the tiniest crochet hook imaginable and creating the tube that becomes the bracelet.”

The bracelets have a single red bead woven into it to signify the impact of human trafficking and to represent the survivor herself. The bracelets fit almost everyone and are worn by gently rolling them onto your wrist. Each bracelet allows the artisan to earn a living while being able to remain in her home, care for her family and rebuild her life. To buy a bracelet make a donation HERE and email   Buyer will pay for shipping costs.

“(Diapers for Dignity) is currently a work in progress and will also help create a caregiving program to help the families,” said Jewell. “It will be headed by one of my Nepali friends I first worked with in 1979.”

For more information on the AirIntermed program and to volunteer, visit and For more information about Diapers for Dignity, email Jewell at



Note from Director of Children’s Medical Escort Program – Margaret Whitehead:
Isabel Moss and Ron Harris escorted this boy from Honduras scheduled for the same open heart surgery that Ron had a couple of years ago. Isabel brought him TGU/MIA and Ron reassured him on the way to STL. Both Spanish speakers escorted him on the most important journey of his life.
On June 26 we had  7 separate trips to accompany a group of Polish orphans to their host families throughout the U.S. The kids have been selected by an orphan hosting agency in the U.S. to spend over a month with these pre-approved host families to familiarize them with living in a family unit. Since most are teenagers who have lived most of their lives in Polish orphanages, it give them something to look forward to, then provides them with lifelong memories of this very special trip. Our children’s escorts will accompany these kids to Seattle, Omaha, Atlanta, Boston, Newark, Raleigh-Durham, and Bentonville, AR. These trips are all on 26Jun.
Additionally, on 25Jun we will have one of our medical escorts accompanying a 17 year old boy from Honduras to St. Louis where he will have open heart surgery. When the sponsoring agency told me that he was extremely nervous about flying, about his upcoming surgery, and especially about making this trip without his mom, whose visa was denied, I decided to ask Ron Harris, one of our escorts and an AA flight attendant who has had 2 open heart surgeries in the past 5 years and Ron agreed to meet him in Miami and travel with him to St. Louis. This is so good because Ron speaks fluent Spanish and we determined the boy will have the same type surgery Ron had. I was also able to get Isabel Moss, a native Spanish speaker to go to Tegucigalpa and accompany him up to Miami.
Also on 25Jun we will have a medical escort who works in the Tampa Admirals Club escorting a little 4 year old Haitian girl back to Haiti from Atlanta where she had surgery to correct her bladder extrophy. Jacqueline Faust, this escort, brought the little girl here in April and asked to escort her back to her homeland.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM)  international round table was held in Zürich on June 27, 2018. The conference was entitled “How can aviation contribute to combating human trafficking?“ 
In Switzerland, there is currently no standardized practice in place to raise awareness of and train cabin crew, airport ground staff and pilots nor are there established procedures for them to report to law-enforcement authorities in case of a suspicion.
The conference focused on the need to involve the aviation industry in the fight against human trafficking. It focused on concrete actions that airlines could implement along with good practices from other countries and international airlines.
Sherry Saehlenou gave a presentation on behalf of Airline Ambassadors International to explain our training program, history and the need for all members of the aviation industry to be trained to recognize and report trafficking in persons.
Key government officials and international organizations attended and participated in a panel discussion and the forum. Among the participants were: Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA, International Organization for Migration IOM, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights OHCHR, International Air Transport Association IATA,  Air Lingus safety training officer, Lufthansa aviation training and  the UK border force.
There’s no question that Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego is a deadly mountain. Beginning June 3, the volcano sent chaotic avalanches of rock and gas down its sides, and as of June 13 the eruptions had taken 110 lives, with some 200 people still missing.Since those initial scorching avalanches — known as pyroclastic flows — local resident Jozef Stano used a drone, which can be operated from more than 4 miles away, to circle the still ominously steaming volcano.Thank you to so many whose generous hearts want to help in the aftermath of this tragedy and we are mobilizing for a relief mission on July 15th to help hand deliver needed supplies raised by our partners and colleagues  Miracles in Action for Vamos Adelante  Please click these links and donate as much as you can to help.Contact Jose Redondo if you are interested in joining a relief mission in July.


Brilliant New Video on Air Asia Airlines human trafficking awareness program!  Airline Ambassadors gives them a #1 rating as the most committed airline in combating human slavery!

It was so exciting to help kick off the Air Asia Roadshow in August 2017 to the main four bases for Air Asia Airlines –

Kuala Lumpur – Manila – Jakarta and Bangkok

Air Asia also did an In Flight Magazine Article on our visit!



Bravo to Donna Hubbard who has inspired so many to increase their awareness of human trafficking!

Here is a piece by Voice of America at our training in Charlotte

Here is a piece by Air Emirates

Here is a piece from our interview with Air Asia 

Anchorage Anti-Trafficking Events 2018
Andrea Hobart LAXFA and Jeanette Van Niekerk PDX FA

Anti-Trafficking Training, May 17, 2018 at Ted Stevens International Airport
Sponsor: Dr. Jeff Brodsky, Founder of Joy International
Andrea Hobart represented Airline Ambassadors International and shared about AAI’s efforts to educate and bring awareness to those in the airline industry.

Administration: Jeanette Luckey, D.O.T. and Lisa Moore, ANC Airport Leasing Specialist
Other Speakers: Dr. Jeff Brodsky, Gwen Adams of PRICELESS ALASKA, Robert Staton, Trainer to antitrafficking task forces internationally
Attendees: ANC law enforcement, ANC airport and station employees from Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and Ravn.

The Alaska Barefoot Mile on May 19, 2018, Downtown Anchorage
Sponsors: Davis Constructors and Engineers INC. and Joy International.
Purpose: To bring awareness to human trafficking and raise funds to aid in the rescue and recovery efforts in Anchorage and around the world.
Jeanette Van Neikerk (PDX FA) spent a day off traveling to volunteer at this event and walk on behalf of Alaska Airlines. She represented Alaska so well!
More information:

 Airlines Denounce Trafficking and commit to Action at the 2018 General Meeting at IATA in Sydney, Australia. Bravo to UNODC Goodwill Ambassador – Mira Sorvino for her statement for the IATA General Meeting June 4, 2018!

We appreciate the support of Tim Colehan and IATA encouraging airlines to educate staff on Human Trafficking Awareness.  Airline cabin crew and staff can be boots on the ground and boots in the air combating this horrific crime. See this link to IATA website

SYDNEY: Airlines are set to step up the fight against human trafficking, global industry body IATA said Monday (Jun 4) as it released guidelines on how crews can act as “eyes and ears” to identify and report suspected cases.

Human trafficking is the world’s fastest-growing criminal industry and the second-largest after the drug trade, according to the US State Department, and there is an increasing push for the aviation industry to take action.

Airlines speed up fight against human trafficking

Airlines want to speed up worldwide the fight against human trade. Indeed, there are already numerous initiatives of single groups, however, up to now a branch-wide beginning has been absent, said Tim Colehan of the international aviation federation (IATA) at the annual federation meeting on Monday in Sydney. The Austrian Airlines supports the decision like one says on APA inquiry.

New guidelines should help the board staff to recognize suspicion cases and to handle after the landing with the victims. The Austrian Airlines helps carry the decision as one said on APA inquiry. ‘ The flight attendants are in a unique position because they sometimes travel many hours together with the passengers ‘, explained Colehan. Therefore they could also discover the smallest signals and Auffälligkeiten. The beginning also intends the vote with airports and criminal proceedings authorities like customs officials and border officials.

Human trafficking is according to US foreign ministry the fastest growing criminal trade of the world and second largest generally after the drug trafficking. According to the office of the United Nations to the fight against drugs and crime fight (UNODC) it comes at 60 percent of human trade for crossing of international borders. Therefore, the pressure on the aviation industry grows.

Indeed, it adds according to Colehan no information about the magnitude of human trade in the aviation branch, however, new laws squeeze all over the world the airlines to train her flight crew especially. International working organization ILO assumes from the fact that nearly 25 million people live in modern slavery. The main routes of human trade run from Africa in the Middle East and south Europe and Western Europe as well as from South Asia in the Middle East, Eastern Asia and the Pacific region.

Airline Ambassadors has been lobbying the airline industry with the importance of their role in prevention. It is exciting to see the support of both government with the ICAO release of Circular 352 at the High Commission on Human Rights, and the support of IATA, the main business association for airlines.

See this piece on AAI’s survivor trainer by Voice of America and other articles on the Eyes Wide Open initiative HERE and


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