In some parts of the world, bicycles mark the difference between life and death. For some of the world’s poorest people, a bicycle is an opportunity.
Earlier this year, I met Mburu. He lives in a rural area west of Nairobi. His community is very poor and children who live there are vulnerable to disease, poverty and exploitation. In Kenya, 26 percent of school age children are stunted because of malnutrition. 21 percent of women have been circumcised.
Unlike many of his peers, Mburu is lucky enough to have had an education. He is now a teacher and he works at a school 20 kilometres from his home.
There are no buses or trains. There is no public transport at all, and vehicles are a luxury he can’t afford. So every day, he rides a bicycle the 20 bumpy kilometres to work, and back again, so that he can teach the next generation.
Life is beginning to change in his community. Since Baptist World Aid Australia began funding a project in the region, lots of farmers have improved their crop yield and livelihoods are beginning to improve. The value of education is being more widely understood and the incidence of disease is on the decline. At his school, Mburu runs a health club for students, funded through Baptist World Aid. The students learn about how to stop the spread of disease and how to grow a range of vegetables. They have set up hand washing stations around the school and in their homes. Diets are improving and so is personal hygiene. Because health care and medications are scarce, these little changes can have a big impact. If diarrhoea is reduced, so too is child mortality.
This year, a bunch of fellow cyclists from Australia, who Mburu has never met, are going to play a part in bringing about change for children in his community and for other children around the world.
On 29 October, a group of cyclists are going to set off from the Gold Coast on an epic 8-day ride, arriving in Sydney on 5 November. They will travel inland, through beautiful countryside, riding as a team with the help of a support crew who will join them on the journey. They will be raising funds for vulnerable children around the world as they ride. The event is open to anyone who has the capacity to complete the journey. Ride 1,000kms over 8 days with a great team of other riders.
We would love for you to join the journey. Head to www.pedalagainstpoverty.com/coast2coast to find our more and register.