It was a festive afternoon at The Victoria Falls Waterfront as 66 bicycles were donated by the Tour d’Afrique Foundation and distributed by The Happy Africa Foundation to deserving communities in Livingstone. As host of the event, The Waterfront provided an array of complimentary drinks to all present and Safari Par Excellence, Lion Encounter, Bungee and Livingstone’s Adventures donated a total of 16 activity prizes whilst Zambian Breweries and Sunrise Beverages donated beers, soft drinks and wine to the delighted Tour d’Afrique participants as a gesture of appreciation on behalf of the grateful Livingstone community. The event was officiated by Mr. Milimo, Standard Officer for Distance Learning from the District Educations Board (DEBS).
The Canadian-based Tour d’Afrique is currently on a 121 day expedition from Khartoum to Cape Town cycling a mind-blowing 12,000 kms. Every year, the Tour
d’Afrique Foundation donates at least one new or refurbished bicycle per rider to health care workers, aid agencies, educational programs and community projects and to date, they have donated an impressive 1 500 bicycles to worthy causes. This is the fourth time the Tour d’Afrique Foundation has made a donation of such generosity in Livingstone and this year, 16 participants rode the final 50kms of the Lusaka to Livingstone journey on cargo-laden bicycles aptly named ‘The Phoenix Stage’ by the participants. Transportation of people and goods is a monumental challenge for developing nations and the ‘Phoenix’
is the typical bicycle of choice in Africa, a one-sized steel frame typically used to transport families and goods up to 50kg in load.
The Tour d’Afrique Foundation mission statement is clear; to give something back to the people and the communities of the areas frequented in their cycling tours and to raise consciousness about bicycles as an alternative and beneficial means of transport. The Happy Africa Foundation is an associated charity
of African Impact, the largest on-the-ground facilitator of socially responsible volunteer projects in Southern and East Africa. The recipients of the donated bicycles are several secondary schools within the Livingstone District and the Linda Farm community for disabled persons. The bicycle donation will aid those school children whose performance and attendance levels are directly affected by the long distances walked in order to attend school, in some cases up to a staggering 18kms per day. This donation will be an investment not only into their education but into their future; words spoken by the children in an entertaining skit performed to the delighted crowd.
For the community of Linda Farm, the bicycles will enable them to attend market and generate income that will benefit the community as a whole. In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the donation, The Happy Africa Foundation will work with the recipients to ensure maximum productivity of the 66 bicycles.
From : The Livingstone Weekly
By : Jill Staden