Riders For Health is ten!

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Riders For Health is ten!

Riders For Health, the Official MotoGP Charity, recently celebrated ten years of existence with a special "Riders Week." Here are ten things you may not know about the good cause:

1. HRH The Princess Royal became the patron of Riders for Health in 1997, and conducted the official opening of the New Street office in November 2003.

2. Riders' International Academy of Vehicle Management, which trains delegates in safe riding, driving and vehicle maintenance is the only one of its kind in the world.

3. The first ever Day of Champions was held at Brands Hatch in 1990 with the likes of Wayne Rainey and Eddie Lawson.

4. Each year Day of Champions takes around ten months to organise and involves over 100 volunteers.

5. Riders for Health currently manages 1,274 vehicles in Africa – from motorcycles and trucks to ambulances and special motorcycle-and-sidecar outfits known as ‘Uhurus'.

6. Uhuru means ‘freedom' in Swahili. In May 2005, the Riders for Health Uhuru saved the life of Mr Alex Matsika, from Zimbabwe, after he was attacked by a swarm of bees.

7. An unmanaged vehicle in Africa will last for less than one year – but within Riders for Health's system many vehicles have lasted for over five years and hundreds of thousands of kilometres.

8. The Gambian government made history in 2002 by being the first African government to outsource the management of the entire country's health delivery vehicles. They gave the management to Riders for Health.

9. Riders for Health's field programmes are staffed by 240 African nationals. Ngwarati Mashonga, programme director of Riders Zimbabwe, began his career as a motorcycle mechanic. He's now responsible for a staff team of 41 people and the management of hundreds of vehicles.

10. In 2002, Jenipher Mutede, a health worker using a Riders-maintained motorcycle in Zimbabwe, was named as Motorcyclist of the Year by Motor Cycle News. Jenipher, who works in Makoni district, accepted the award on behalf of all the motorcycling health workers of Zimbabwe and beyond. "I look after two wards and about 30,000 people," she said. "Without my motorcycle I just could not do my work."
TAGS 2006

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