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Reducing poverty through the power of the bike

article_safarisimbaz

Reducing poverty through the power of the bike

Having been involved in some geothermal work in Kenya, I have never in my life seen so many people walking between places. But there are also the odd bikers here and there, but mostly with the bicycle as a transportation tool to get between places.

Little did I know about the ambitions by the vivid bikers of “Safari Simbaz Trust”, who “aims to unearth hidden talent and develop world class athletes within underprivileged children in disadvantaged communities around Nairobi. We provide support structures to enable these youths fulfill their sporting dreams and help rebuild their communities through alternative career paths like tour guides and bike mechanics.”

Empowerment through bicycle racing, how cool is that?

The three aims of Safari Simbaz Trust:

  1. Continue the education of youths who would normally fall by the way side. This education takes the form of formal and informal means. Formal being through the DHL scheme to keep them in school and tie their cycling results to their school results. Informal is to take those who have already fallen out of the system and to give them a life skill. Whether that is as a bike mechanic or a competitive cyclist.
  2. To build a sustainable business that mends bikes and takes tourists on safe and well guided rides throughout the stunning landscapes of Kenya. This provides a living for the Simbaz and a great experience for the tourist. It’s a win win.
  3. To raise money to buy a small piece of land where the Simbaz can grow and support more youths who need our help. We will build the Safari Simbaz Centre on this land that will provide a place for shelter, training and fun for everyone involved.

Improving lives through biking … sounds great to me.

Interesting enough, the most successful export of Safari Simbaz is Chris Froome (SKY Pro Cycling team), a Kenyan by birth but actually racing under British flag. He has been “twice vice champion of the two grand tours; the 2011 Vuelta a España and the 2012 Tour de France, and currently the most exciting rider on the pro tour.”

Having been a vivid biker myself both on the mountain bike and race bike, I thought that this program is a fantastic to make a real impact in an educational and skill building.

So I am glad ThinkGeoEnergy can join POWER Engineers employees to initiate funding of the Safari Simbaz Junior Cycling program in Kenya. Net proceeds of the inaugural “Highway to Heaven” bike race will go direct to helping grow youth cycling through the “Safari Simbaz – Reducing Poverty Through the Power of the Bike” program based in Nairobi, Kenya.

For more details about Safari Simbaz, see here.

To support the efforts or join the race, see here.

This article was initially published on LinkedIn in November 2014.

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