Rider fundraising on the Tour d’Afrique
Malawi Gin may be the shortest section of the tour, but it offers an excellent view of an issue that is both important to the continent of Africa and close to the heart of TDA as an organization. Malawi, AKA “The Warm Heart of Africa” is one of the least developed countries in the world. With a Human development index of 0.445, (173 out of 188 countries in the world), Malawi is an agrarian country that depends largely on tobacco exports for foreign exchange. Despite its small size, Malawi has historically received over half a billion dollars in aid per year, making it one of the largest aid recipients (per capita) in the world. Despite the challenges it faces, it has put this aid aid to good use reducing poverty, increasing school enrolment, and combating the AIDS epidemic that threatens its people.
Riding through the country, riders often discuss the effects of aid and charity in Africa (at least when they’re not grinding up the mountains that surround the lake). Our riders come from a wide array of backgrounds, and as such have a bewildering spread of opinions on the best application of foreign aid and development. However, the one thing that binds them all together is their personal spirit of generosity. TDA as a company was founded with a strong spirit of charity (see our blog from Arusha to learn more about the bicycle donations), so it is not surprising to find that many of our riders are using their trip to raise funds for charity. The following is a list of the riders who are fundraising, as well as links to pages where you can learn more about the humanitarian causes they are working for. These initiatives range from bicycles to schools, from hospitals to disaster relief agencies, and they are all fantastic examples of the riders spirit of generosity towards the lands through which they are travelling.
Martina Kroos: Martina is riding to raise funds for Shelterbox, a disaster relief agency that has operated in over 90 countries. You can learn more about her cause (and read her trip report) here (in German).
Emma Houterman: Emma rides for Medecins sans Frontieres, (Doctors without Borders) the agency that has been providing medical care where it is needed most for over forty years. Her page can be reached here.
Katja Steenkamp: Katja is raising funds for Qhubeka, a South African non-profit that distributes the legendary Buffalo Bikes to those in need in Africa. Katja hopes to raise enough funds to donate 300 bikes. You can help at www.katjasteenkamp.com.
Rupert Dixon: Rupert’s speedy legs are working for two charities- Guide Dogs UK and Farm Africa. He has already raised over 90% of his five thousand pound goal; you can help him get there at this link.
Mike Hobin: Mike is another rider with a dual objective – he is raising funds for both The Living Room, a Kenyan Hospice, and Rancho Feliz, a development organization working Aqua Prieta, Mexico. You can learn about these excellent charities at his site, www.mphcyclingadventures.com. It’s also worth mentioning that Mike himself is matching the donations made to these charities for his trip.
Graham Whelan: In honor of his Grandfather, Graham’s heart and legs are working to raise money for the Heart Department at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. You can find his page at this link. He also contributed to the TDA Foundation, funding the purchase of four bicycles.
Stephanie Thornton: Stephanie is pedalling for the Africa Yoga Project, an innovative organization that empowers disadvantaged individuals physically, spiritually, and socio-economically by training them to work as instructors. She has raised over 96% of her $6000 goal. Click here to help her reach her goal.
Juliana Nunez de Andrade: Juliana is riding for Friends of Himalayan Children, and organization that works to increase access to education for Children in the Himalayas. She’s looking to raise a dollar for every kilometre of her trip. Click here if you can help.
As it does every year, the Tour d’Afrique Foundation will also be donating bikes to worthy recipients along the tour’s route. For 2016, we will be donating 30 bikes. This comprises one for each of the 18 full tour riders, funded by TDA, four from Graham Whelan, and eight from other generous donors. This year, the Foundation is also donating $2,500 to CPAR’s Rubana Valley and Wetland Rehabilitation project.
Click here to donate to the TDA Foundation.