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Riders for Health founders honoured

Riders for Health founders honoured

Riders for Health founders honoured

Andrea and Barry Coleman, co-founders of the MotoGP charity Riders for Health along with former rider Randy Mamola, have been recognised as two of the world's outstanding social entrepreneurs. The Schwab Foundation, sister organisation to the World Economic Forum, have invited Andrea and Barry to join their elite network after rigorous assessment and third party evaluation.

The Schwab Foundation is the leading promoter of social entrepreneurism as a practical, rational methodology for engendering sustainable development in the world's poverty-affected regions.

"Social entrepreneurs use business and innovative revenue models to stimulate social inclusion. They are practical, results-oriented innovators who instigate processes whereby the poor become agents of change and self-determination," explained the organisation's director, Pamela Hartigan.

"Andrea and Barry Coleman have not only found an imaginative solution to a highly complex problem but Riders for Health has enormous capacity to grow throughout Africa, making a lasting and sustainable impact on development."

Countless basic health development programmes in Africa have failed because there has not been adequate consideration of how health workers can actually reach the thousands of people they are dedicated to serving. However, Riders for Health has successful nationwide programmes saving lives in The Gambia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Their solution is simple: put in place a sustainable and reliable preventative maintenance system for four and two-wheel motorised vehicles and it means that health delivery is never undermined by vehicles failing, however harsh the conditions.

The infrastructure works so well because it has been adapted for African conditions under African management. Large-scale zero-breakdown programmes place powerful emphasis on training health workers in safe-driving and planned, preventative maintenance.

Inclusion into the elite Schwab network means that transportation has been recognised as a key element in the fight against poverty and ill-health. "We are hugely encouraged by this recognition and the opportunity it will give us to place transport for development in the spotlight," said Andrea Coleman, pictured above with husband Barry and HRH Princess Anne at a charity dinner ahead of the Cinzano British Grand Prix earlier this year.

"Humanitarian development is only possible where rational, sustainable techniques based on mutual respect and clearly-understood motivation are in place."

Riders for Health continue their close connection with the MotoGP World Championship with the annual ‘Dia de Campeones' (Day of Champions) ahead of the final round of the season at Valencia this Thursday. In November, Andrea and Barry will attend the World Summit in Brazil, where they will present the results of Riders' pioneering work to representatives of more than 90 organisations.

To find out more about Riders for Health and their work or make a donation, visit www.riders.org.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GRAN PREMIO MARLBORO DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA

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