World Bicycle Relief is offering riders the chance to join a 490 kilometre ride from Zambia to Zimbabwe, whilst raising money to fund the its life changing work.
The organisation provides bicycles to people in poverty, allowing them to access education, healthcare and economic empowerment.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
The eight day trip takes place between September 5 to 12, with a start in Lusaka and a finish in Victoria Falls – the largest waterfall in the world, which is aptly named by locals ‘The Smoke that Thunders’.
The charity promises that those taking part will be “fully immersed in the work of World Bicycle Relief” along the way, and it’s also offering the chance to explore this South African region’s craftwork, music, dance and traditional ceremonies.
The trip isn’t cheap – coming in at £2,748, with an extra fundraising target of £2,500. However, that £2,748 is enough to fund 23 sturdy Buffalo bikes.
World Bicycle Relief works in Africa, Indonesia and South America – where walking is the primary means of transport for many people, and it can be both time-consuming and dangerous in some cases.
The organisation prioritises school aged girls, with 70 per cent of the machines going to young women, whose school drop out rate is particularly high. Providing them with a bike makes their journey safer and drastically reduces the time taken to get to school.
World Bicycle Relief say that having a bike typically decreases the journey time by 75 per cent, ups student attendance by 28 per cent and academic performance by a whopping 59 per cent.
The charity also works with local governments and aid organisations to provide sustainable healthcare solutions through its Wheels for Integrated and Sustainable Health (WISH) program. In some countries, volunteer health workers regularly walk 10-20km to provide care at home – providing them with a Buffalo Bike can allow them to reach 45 per cent more patients.
Bikes for farmers allow workers to transport more produce to markets, more grain to the mill and more milk to collection centres. To provide these bikes, World Bicycle Relief partners with local employers and co-ops.
Since 2005, the charity has delivered over 470,000 purpose-built Buffalo Bicycles and trained over 2,250 bicycle mechanics in its target countries.