Amongst the group was Build It CEO Andrew Jowett who shared a few words about the experience:
“It was an intense week together – no doubt about that! Five days cycling on dirt roads, sandy tracks and tarmac was a real challenge for everyone. Age, experience and fitness varied across the group, but everyone was incredibly supportive and encouraging. It was a team effort for sure!
Our journey commenced at our Centre for Excellence, just north of Lusaka. A group of trainees gave us a very warm welcome with singing and dancing. They proudly led the group around their centre.
For five long days we pedalled hard and burned the calories. We were well looked after by the local crew Lorraine, BJ and Albert who did an amazing job making sure we were hydrated and fuelled. The temperatures reached 30c at midday, and we rested with a 30-minute power snooze after lunch (a highly recommended habit).
We passed through villages and farms, ranches and sugar plantations. We were encouraged on our way by children running alongside us, laughing and yelling “Muzungo!” and “How are you? I’m fine!”
People pedalled alongside us. They powered through on their heavy single speed bicycles seemingly making light work of the sandy tracks, whilst at times most of us resorted to pushing our bikes!
Eventually we reached Livingstone and the Zambezi River as it plunges over 100m at Victoria Falls / Mosi-oa-Tunya – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. There were hugs and high fives, tears and lots of photos. Followed by a beer or two!”
“The day after arriving at Victoria Falls we visited two of Build It’s community projects in Livingstone. It was a chance for the group to see first-hand the difference their support makes.
First stop was Libuyu Health Centre where Build It constructed a new Maternity and Child Health Unit. The generosity of supporters also made it possible for us to completely redevelop the existing clinic building – this is making a huge difference to the healthcare services the centre can deliver to their patients.
Next stop was Zambezi Sawmills Community School. Construction of additional classrooms at this busy school, means the school can now teach children up to Grade 8. We delivered much needed textbooks for children in this new class.
We left with indelible memories etched in our minds. From everyone at Build It, a huge thank you to the amazing team of cyclists and to over 300 people who sponsored them, including our generous friends at Chariot and Energy Revolution Ventures. In all, we have raised over £34,000 to support more young people through our Training into Work programme. And it’s still not too late to donate -visit Just Giving.“