Strengthening society, 1 km at a time

Strengthening society, 1 km at a time

ERIKS employee cycled the Africa Classic for Amref Flying Doctors

/ JODI MARX, OFFICE MANAGER AT ERIKS COMPANY NOTON B.V. IN THE NETHERLANDS, SIGNED UP FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE IN 2016: TO CYCLE THE AFRICA CLASSIC IN TANZANIA, TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE AMREF FLYING DOCTORS.   

This challenging annual cycling tour took place in Tanzania from 8th-15th October 2016, and raised a total of € 581,701 for AMREF. Despite never before cycling further than 10km, Jodi resolved to take part in the 400km ride in a team called Flying Fietsers. She personally raised a staggering € 10,000 sponsorship. The team found a sponsor for every day of the tour and proudly wore shirts with the sponsor's logo. ERIKS sponsored the team's final day and thus finished the Africa Classic. The daily stages ranged from 40 - 82 km, over red earth and dirt tracks, through some of the most beautiful and rugged scenery. The Queen Stage, for example, covered 64 km and ended 2,000 m above sea level. One thing which helped to keep the cyclists going were the local children, who showed their support every day along the way with their cheers and high fi ves. Their rides alternated with excursions to AMREF projects, including an HIV/AIDS venture, and a project providing access to water – hugely improving the standard of living for the local community. There was also a chance to meet the actual AMREF Flying Doctors.

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Cycling past giraffes, elephants and zebras will also be hard to forget!

Two Flying Fietsers team members (Dik and Bob) were amongst the top six fundraisers, which earned them a flight in the Flying Doctors’ plane. However they kindly gave up their seats and Jodi was one of the lucky replacement passengers.

Another of the many highlights was a visit to a primary school in Masai ountry where, thanks to AMREF, Masai girls are taught sexual health and birth control instead of undergoing the traditional circumcision ritual. After one particularly long, steep climb, the bikers were rewarded by meeting AMREF local health workers, who explained the excellent work they are doing in controlling epidemics.

Jodi found the whole trip an overwhelming experience and recommends taking part in the Africa Classic to everyone. It’s not only the work of AMREF and the support of the locals which she will always remember. Cycling past giraffes, elephants and zebras will also be hard to forget!

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CLEAN DRINKING WATER FOR 1,500 PEOPLE

Jodi’s personal fundraising will help AMREF supply clean drinking water and sanitation to no fewer than 1,500 people. She thanks ERIKS for being part of this change, and describes herself as proud to wear the ERIKS shirt in the final stage.

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