Manfrotto sponsored Bike Ride funds education for children in Zambia
From May 20th to 29th, Manfrotto supported the non-profit organization African Revival by taking part in a challenging bike ride through Zambia, raising much needed money for a number of different African Revival projects.
A group of cyclists from different corners of the country joined forces to tackle the grueling trek from Lusaka to Victoria Falls. The group set off from Mazabuka village and cycled 500km down dirt roads, past sugar plantations and ancient baobab trees. On some days covering over 100km, they were relieved to find tarmac road rather than the dry sandy tracks that made progress such a challenge.
The gang travelled through many Zambian villages, always followed closely behind by a band of local kids with a look of sheer elation at the sight of 26 sweaty westerners passing through.
“Of course the main highlight was the welcome we got wherever we went but particularly at the schools which we all found quite emotional in our own ways,” said one of the riders Ian Holden.
The event was organised by African Revival, a charity that works to provide education opportunity and choice to communities across Africa. The charity currently has several projects underway in Uganda and Zambia, some of which the cyclists had the chance to visit themselves.
“The schools were uplifting even if they only scratch the surface. You have to start somewhere and for the children in those classes this education could bring a significant increase in life expectancy and quality for themselves and their future families,” said Ed Spencer, Manfrotto UK's Customer Service Manager, who kept a daily diary of his experiences during the ride.
African Revival is a UK charity that has been working with schools to enhance education in Africa for over five years. They are working intensively with 18 primary schools in Zambia and Uganda, improving the quality of education for over 5,000 pupils. Their aim is to break the cycle of poverty for some of the world’s poorest children and future generations.
Grateful for the support of Manfrotto and the staggering commitment of the participants, African Revival is delighted to have received over £68,000 which will go to the projects in Zambia.
Kasizi school caters for 480 students and previously only had three classrooms. Now the students and the entire community will be delighted to see the construction of three new classrooms and another two-classroom block.
Matondo Community School, situated 25 km from Kalomo Town, has over 300 students from four surrounding villages and numerous small settlements who are taught by only three teachers in three incomplete classrooms. It is very encouraging to see the numbers of students increasing, however, this places great pressure on the school’s limited infrastructure. Thanks to the Bike Ride, pupils can look forward to the building of a new classroom block.
The group of intrepid cyclists are on a high from their experience and are already talking about an event for 2012!
For Ed Spencer's excellent and informative diary of the whole journey visit the Cycling.TV website
For further information about African Revival visit: www.africanrevival.org