Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A message for my supporters

The inability to tackle the huge distances of Africa's rural landscape is stopping health and development agencies from making an impact on the continent's fight against poverty and disease. The unique passion and imagination shared by motorcyclists across the world allowed Riders for Health to envisage the solution to this health crisis.

Riders for Health grew directly out of the motorcycle community in the 1980s and since then they have been working on a solution to one of Africa's most pressing problems - how can health services which prevent and cure disease actually be delivered to the rural communities where they are so desperately needed?

The answer, of course, is by using well-maintained motorcycles. Easy to say, but hard to bring about. It's been a long slog but once in a while along comes something that really accelerates the process, something that quite dramatically brings the final goal of complete mobility for all health workers in Africa closer.

Enduro Africa is just such a leap forward. And it comes, just as Riders fro Health did, right from the heart of the motorcycle fraternity. In itself, that should tell the world something about motorcyclists.

On the Enduro Africa trip I will ride through some of the most beautiful country in the world - including the Drakensberg mountain range, where Ridesr for Health started its first national programme in 1991. Home of the infamous 'Roof of Africa' rally, the Drakensberg is often called God's own motorcycle country. I'll see why.

And before I leave to go home, I will hand the motorcycle you have helped purchase over to the Riders fro Health programme for Zimbabwe. A group of health workers and Riders' Zimbabwean staff will meet me to explain their work in more detail. After that, Riders will keep me in touch with what my bike is achieving in its life-saving work.

Will what you (hopefully!) help me achieve make a difference? Well, after Riders for Health got the first district in Zimbabwe fully mobile (Binga district, near Lake Kariba) malaria deaths dropped by 20%! Now that really is a difference. And so the Yamaha AG200 will save hundreds of lives.

Enduro Africa raised an amazing donation of £203,200 from the 2006 event and Riders for Health say this money will make a huge impact.

I know I will have a great ride and even more than that, a great, probably life-changing experience. I hope toi share that experience with all of my supporters via this blog.

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