Imagine you are riding in a nature documentary with an inspiring group, with no MAMIL’s (middle aged men in lycra) to spoil the landscape, then experiencing first-hand the area and meeting the families that your pedalling and fundraising efforts have impacted. It’s no ordinary charity bike ride, it’s the ride of a lifetime!
Child.org have opened registration for our first ever All Women Ride Africa cycle adventure across Kenya’s stunning landscape. The ride will take place this July with riders fundraising in support of Child.org’s Team Mum appeal, which has the support of UK Aid Match. People involved in the ride so far include Scottish presenter Cat Cubie and the co-founders of Cuckooz Nest, with support on the ride provided by David Kinjah, legendary coach for Chris Froome.
Our team have developed a great reputation for our Ride Africa challenges since the first ride in 2010. The all-women ride will cover 450 km over 6 days from Lake Naivasha to Meru in Central Kenya. There are places available for just 70 women to experience the best of Kenya. Our riders will pass through Hell’s Gate, across vast plains, through national parks, past lakes teeming with wildlife, see the majestic Thompson Falls and up to the base of Mount Kenya. The ride destination is Meru, a very fitting finish, as this rural community is where our project team will be using rider’s Team Mum fundraising to create vital pregnancy support groups.
Marti, our Programming Manager at Child.org and previous Ride Africa rider said: “Ride Africa is a life-changing experience for our riders and for the women their fundraising will support. Imagine going through a difficult pregnancy and birth in a place where access to information is a struggle. Accessing the internet briefly can cost the same as your daily food budget. Health clinics are hours away by foot and community care is inconsistent and scarce at best. By empowering mums with information about how to keep their families safe and well, we will enable them to help their babies survive and thrive.”
With riders each covering the cost of their own trip, all fundraising from the ride goes directly to where it’s needed. Thanks to UK Aid Match, all donations made in support of the Team Mum appeal between 1st Feb–30th April will be matched by the UK government - so riders who fundraise during this period can support twice as many new mums in Meru.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Expectant mothers across the UK are supported throughout their pregnancy by the hard work and care of our fantastic NHS. Sadly, this is not the same for many women in Kenya who still do not have access to the care they need to make sure that their babies grow.
The Team Mum campaign, with the support of UK Aid Match, is bringing together parents and experts from across Britain to support communities and empower pregnant women in rural Kenya.
Every time the British public reach into their pockets and donate to a UK Aid Match charity, the Government matches their contributions pound for pound. This appeal is directly changing the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”
Our Ride Africa team is building, with some inspiring women riders already signed up. Fabienne O’Neill and Charlie Rosier are the co-founders of Cuckooz Nest, clever co-working space with crèche for working Mums. They said: “We at Cuckooz Nest are incredibly proud to be a part of Team Mum. As a team, we have always strived to better support mothers and this felt like a natural affiliation & something very close to our hearts. We are really excited (and slightly scared!) to be a part of the epic all-women Ride Africa cycle team.”
Other riders include Cat Cubie, Scottish TV presenter and journalist, who is recruiting a team in Scotland.
The legendary Kenyan cycling ambassador David Kinjah, who is famous for discovering and mentoring Chris Froome as a boy, is part of the elite support team who will be there to support the ride.
If you're interested in taking part in Ride Africa, or would like more information, please get int touch! You can call me on 07941 535837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Women cyclists can sign up to join the ride at rideafrica.org.
For all those men looking to join in, your chance to experience the next regular mixed event is 19th to 26th October. Sign up is already open above.