Thanks for visiting my just giving page.
As many of you know I will be cycling along the Danube Way from Donaueschingen (from where the Danube starts in the Black Forest in Germany) to Vienna, a distance of around 1,000km from 16-24th June with a few friends. Some of you have asked me whether I intend seeking sponsorship. At first I thought of just enjoying the ride (and the aches and pains which go with it!), but when some of you also offered to make a charity donation for my efforts, you convinced me that it would be a good opportunity to raise some money for causes that are special to me.
Well, as you may know I spent nearly four years working as a Volunteer (VSO) Town Planner in Malawi many years ago now (1978-1981) – Malawi is one of the world’s ten poorest nations with high levels of infant mortality, one of the highest rates of AIDS infections and with malaria, bilharzia, TB and other diseases prevalent. Yet it is also one of the most beautiful countries I have visited and the people are very welcoming – not without reason is Malawi known as the ‘Warm heart of Africa’. Whilst in Malawi I spent a lot of time working on development projects along the shores of Lake Malawi, Africa’s third largest lake (uniquely it measures 365 miles long by 52 miles wide!), and where the local people live from subsistence agriculture and fishing, but suffer from malaria, bilharzia and other water borne diseases. Many areas along the lakeshore are inaccessible by road.
A few years ago the Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust was set up to renovate the Chauncy Maples, the oldest ship in Africa (built in 1899) and to bring her back into use as a hospital ship to provide free health services to the 2 million or so people who live around the lake. I have therefore chosen to support this rather special and ambitious project. In addition to every pound raised, not only will it be topped up by Gift Aid, but the Malawi Government will also match every pound raised. Their target is to raise £2m and so far they have raised just over half that amount.
I finish with a local Malawian saying– ‘Suffering is nothing so long you live’. Well hopefully my few days of suffering on the saddle will in return help to ensure a little less suffering in the local village communities along the shores of Lake Malawi.
Thank you for your support.