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Gearing up for a brighter future

Easy access to education is something many of us take for granted. But, in Livingstone, Zambia, some children will walk more than 10km per day just to get to school.  Unsurprisingly, this severely impacts their education. Often, they are tired from the journey and need to take rest days.

Any drop in attendance severely impacts grades. The knock-on effect can be hugely detrimental – obtaining a quality education is the foundation to sustainably improving people´s lives and future.

Something as simple as a bike can make all the difference but, for many families, it is a luxury they cannot afford and the children’s education suffers.

Thankfully, there are people willing to make a difference to these children’s lives. One such group is Tour d´Afrique (TDA).

TDA bike riders are crossing Africa from north to south and, on April 3rd, reached Livingstone. It has been an epic adventure, which is only halfway through. Some started in Cairo, others joined along the way, the final destination is Cape Town.

The riders want to give back to the communities of the areas they pass through on their cycling tour. They also want to raise consciousness about bicycles as an alternative means of transport.

The TDA’s foundation – Global Cycling – alongside local partners and organizations, donates one bicycle for every full tour rider on the Tour d’Afrique. Here in Livingstone, they generously donated 20 bikes to African Impact Foundation (AIF).

The partnership with TDA is a perfect fit for AIF which works to implement long-term, positive change in the lives of individuals, families and communities in Africa.

This is the eighth time we have been honoured by the generosity of Tour d’Afrique and these kind donations have already shown a positive impact to the lives of previous recipients.

“With the help of these bicycles, pupils have reported early for school and are less tired, thereby concentrating on their school which has translated into improving academic performance,” a student at St. Rapheal´s told attendees at the bike presentation.

“These generous donations have helped alleviate the transport problem that we face as students due to the uneven distribution of schools in Livingstone…. However, with the generous bicycle donation from African Impact Foundation and Tour d´Afrique the situation has improved,” he added.

The courage and determination of the children here in Livingstone to make the long walk to school is testament to just how much they want to be educated and move towards a better future.

African Impact Foundation in Livingstone works closely with the communities to fulfil this need. As one of the main areas of our focus is education and enrichment, we are grateful for the Tour d´Afrique partnership and look forward to many more years working together to make a difference.

 

By Anna Nilsson – African Impact Foundation intern Livingstone