Mick, Lee, Graeme, and Rob took on and completed the challenge of a lifetime – to raise money that will transform thousands of children’s lives. Team Abana cycled in a race across the USA to give back childhoods to thousands of street children. All costs of the event were covered by the riders themselves so all donations have gone directly to support improved services for street and other vulnerable children.
A few years back an investment advisor asked me about my future plans. "To give something back to the country that I grew up in using my skills, knowledge and networks" I said. "Does it have to be South Africa and if not I know of a UK based charity doing good work in Africa who are looking for a trustee and I think you would be great" he said. I soon became a trustee of the Street Child Africa charity which last year merged with Chance for Childhood.
Having lived my first 40 years in South Africa I cannot say that I had an appreciation for the plight of street children and/or their mothers until I joined the board of the charity. So when I finally succumbed to Lee who had been pestering me for a while about competing in RAAM, the only condition I stipulated was that we raised money for my charity, Chance for Childhood! He and the rest of the team agreed and here we are, training for one of the biggest challenges of my life!
It all came together for me during a five day Street Child Africa charity bike ride from Lusaka to Livingstone in September last year. The day before we set out I had the privilege to see some of our projects and meet some of the incredible people and partners we work with on the ground. These encounters gave me a purpose and I then knew that I had to do RAAM. Day one and two on the bike from Lusaka made me even more determined as I experienced more of the children's world.
Disaster struck at the end of day two, I took a tumble breaking my collarbone and four ribs - end of my ride! Through all the pain and the subsequent recovery, I remained determined to compete in RAAM. To date I have done most of my training indoors on a WattBike and look forward to getting outdoors as the weather improves so that I can catch up to my team mates who are training very hard.
As we get closer to the start, I am amazed at the effort that our crew and sponsors are putting in to make this all possible for the children of Africa.