Sports has power to change people lives, support Clean Water Cycle 999 initiative

In 2008, I won a Media Institue of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter award for my coverage of a South African missionary, Felix Starker, who ventured on a charity cycling adventure from Malawi to South Africa to raise funds to try and get kids off  the streets.Duncan Logo

Starker was touched with the noble work that one Godknows Maseko, through his NGO — Step Kids Awareness (Steka) — had ventured on to try and take underprivileged kids off the streets, house them and get them to go to school.

He decided to cycle thousands of kilometres to South Africa and entice donors to support him in aid of Steka’s noble venture.

I chronicled his venture from word go ip until he finished and how much he raised for Steka, who eventually found a rented home to raise these kids.

It’s a long story but today some of the kids that were there managed to get higher education. This is what Misa Malawi envisioned the story could do and thus awarded me with that award, which I treasure so much.

I have done several charity stories that people used sports as a channel to raise funds to assist the underprivileged and I have always been proud when people were forthcoming to assist the underprivileged in the name of sports.

That comes to mind with what two cyclists are intending to do — to cycle 1,755kms from Nsanje to Chitipa and back to Blantyre for charity to raise funds to drill one borehole each in nine villages in nine districts, targeting to raise MK15.5 million.

Are you game to assist them? Dubbed Clean Water Cycle 999, this is charity initiative that has been organised by Cycle For Change 0 to cycle the length of Malawi from Nsanje to Chitipa in 10 days from October 1-10, 2016 and back from Mzuzu to Blantyre in five days fromOctober 13-17.

The group, which has been cycling for leisure but would now like to engage in social responsibilities to the benefit of the nation, is inviting the corporate world and other sympathisers to partner with them  for sponsorship support that can either be direct — through monetary, or materially — or indirect through what they have termed as ‘Adopt a Borehole’ initiative or any other means that sponsors find it possible and best to support the cause.

They are saying that such support will leave a lasting memory and mark in the lives and communities in targeted areas.

Please assist — one borehole costs approximately MK1.5 million. This translates to an estimated MK13.5 million for the nine boreholes. Besides, there will also be a need for an additional MK1.974 million to cater for all the other incidental costs for the activity. In total, we need MK15.5 for the whole initiative.

They have targeted to drill the boreholes in Nsanje, Mulanje, Balaka, Dedza, Salima, Dowa, Nkhata Bay, Mzimba and Chitipa and for a start, Cycle For Change has funded the first borehole project which has been drilled in Mehera Village, Traditional Authority Mkanda in Mulanje District and handed over last Saaturday.

This village has over 350 people but access to clean water was a big problem. Through the cyclists words, “Water is a great foundation of life, but clean water is life. In many parts of our country, especially rural areas, finding a reliable source of clean water is often time-consuming and expensive. In some places, it is simply dry.

“In others, this most critical need is literally only a few feet below ground waiting to sustain life. Many people spend their entire day at times walking long distances searching for clean water.

“Time lost gathering water and suffering from water-borne diseases is limiting people’s true potential, especially women and girls. Education is lost to sickness, so are the other contributors to the country’s social and economic development.”

The group comprises Stewart Kambewa as team leader and cyclist together with Kwame Kayira, John Moyenda as treasurer and road manager and Arthur Madzedze as spokesperson have handed over the first borehole and it’s now up to us all to assist them raise the needed MK15.5 for the whole initiative.

They are saying those interested to support financially can do so through bank account name of Cycle for Change at FMB Blantyre Branch savings account number 0003502001333, or Airtel Money: 0997 111 444 and TNM Mpamba: 0888 354 285.

Once they start off, they will be updating their activity through their Facebook page cycleforchangemalawi.

Are you game? I am and if you need to be acknowledged, just contact me through my email [email protected].

I love you all.

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