Almost there: cyclists’ home run

2008-06-20 00:00

Eight young cyclists who are cycling from Cairo to Cape Town in a bid to combat extreme poverty in Africa are on the home stretch of their journey.

The five South Africans — Maritzburger Didi Francis, Grant McDermott, Gareth Brauteseth, Richard Conyngham and Matthew Eb — and three Irish men — Ollie Fegan, Denis Dwyer and Niall Treacy — have travelled through Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa over the last six months — a distance of 12 500 km.

Their goal is to support one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for Africa: to end extreme poverty by 2025.

The team have already raised just over half of their target of $300 000, which will feed a village of about 5 000 people in Tanzania for a year.

They covered their own travelling expenses and then went around asking companies to donate money to this worthy cause.

The MDG vision to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger in at least 80 villages throughout Africa requires the support of individuals and companies across the globe.

The team are appealing to businesses and individuals in South Africa to extend their hand of generosity to the rest of Africa, which is far worse off than we are in South Africa.

But to date, only two companies have decided to contribute, with others saying they want to help South Africans first.

Francis (24), the only female cyclist in the team, shares her adventure stories in her blog, which can be found on the Witness website (under “Other headlines”).

The team have asked friends, family and those who wish to support to join them in a social cycle from Nottingham Road to the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds on Saturday, June 28.

• Learn more about this dynamic challenge at

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