A bike tour for charity, dubbed ‘Cycle of Hope Rwanda 2017’, successfully concluded on Thursday in Muhanga District, Southern Province and the organisers say they expect to raise £50,000 (about Rwf54.6m).
The three-day event was organised by Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY) in partnership with UK-based Christian Relief and Development Agency (Tearfund), with the aim of using cycling as a tool to promote tourism and campaign for donation to change lives of unprivileged communities in Rwanda.
A total of 16 donors and supporters of the charity from England and Northern Ireland participated in the cycling tour that had three stages; Kigali-Kayonza, Kigali-Bugesera and Kigali-Muhanga.
The 16 riders were led by retired Rwandan professional cyclists Nathan Byukusenge and Rafiki Uwimana.
Speaking to Times Sport after the final day, Paul Francis, the head of the delegation from UK, commended what he described as “the best experience” they have had, revealing that the tour has already raised more than the expected target.
“We were surprised at every stage along the way, we have been overwhelmed and humbled by the welcome that the Rwandan people have showed us, it has exceeded our expectations,” said Francis.
The Evangelical Alliance Relief Fund Committee has been working in Rwanda since the early 1990s, working with partners to launch peace-building initiatives and empower communities.
Currently, they have five projects in Rwanda that include; Across ethnic divides, Moucecore which works through the church to enable ‘solidarity transformation’, Association Mwana Ukundwa (AMU), meaning ‘loved child’, which aims at ending child poverty through education.
AMU empowers orphans, foster families and child headed households through small business loans and training in skills such as tailoring and embroidery.
In southern Rwanda, the Rural Development Interdiocesan Service is boosting food production through activities such as valley drainage and irrigation, compost and manure production, poultry and pig farming, fish farming and bee keeping.
The other project is African Evangelistic Enterprise that is helping over 30,000 people in Eastern Rwanda through self-help groups, enabling them to access credit and pool their resources in savings schemes.