James Stevens

James' Tour du Burundi Page

Fundraising for Great Lakes Outreach (GLO)
raised of £3,000 target
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Participants: Simon Guillebaud, Paul Asher, Paul Smith, Dave Luebkeman, Mason Moise, Matthew Alexander, Andrew Grenfell
We work with outstanding local leaders to transform Burundi and beyond.


Burundi, located in central Africa, and referred to as the heart of Africa not only because of its location but also because it is shaped like a human heart, is a country which has seen more than its fair share of trauma.  Like Rwanda, its sister country to the north, Burundi experienced years of civil war and a similar genocide - although Burundi's was more protracted, lasting 13 years.

Great Lakes Outreach (GLO) is a charity that works for development of the people of Burundi, located in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa.  GLO was founded in 2003 by Simon Guillebaud in response to massive needs of the country. Simon recognised the potential for strategic co-operation with local partners and has worked in Burundi since 1998.

Africa does not lack natural resources; it just lacks leaders with strong moral convictions and integrity. It is believed that in order to be a player on the world stage the of Burundi children must be taught to speak English (French and Kirundi are the primary languages)

Gitega International Academy (GIA), the first English-speaking boarding school in Burundi, was opened in 2012 with the purpose of elevating the status of Burundian scholarship and developing East African leaders for Burundi’s future by fostering academic excellence, and integrity that will lead Burundi to new levels of prosperity and peace never before seen in that country.

The purpose the Tour du  Burundi is to raise awareness of the academy and also to seek out donations to supporting the school

All of the riders in the tour will cover their own costs so let me assure you, every penny donated will go directly to the academy. Simon the Tour du Burundi organiser is British but has lived in Burundi for over 10 years and it is through his organisation, Great Lakes Outreach that donations will be made.

The Route :

The Tour du Burundi is 390 mile (625km) bicycle ride over 7 days thats takes us around the whole country. You can see a description of the route below, and there is a map of the country and the elevation profile in photo section.

Sunday 19 May

Bujumbura (capital) to Nyanza Lac, 76 miles (122km), to the far South of country. This will be a very hot day as it will be all in the plain at low altitude, along a gorgeous road beside the lake. Fortunately it will be flat all the way.

Monday 20 May

Nyanza Lac to Rutana, 57 miles (92km), The South to Central South, involving a lot of climbing (you can't miss this on the elevation profile!). We'll probably be knackered after the first day, and this will be another 'challenging' one!

Tuesday 21 May

Rutana to Gitega, 43 miles (69km). South Central to Central. A short day, but we might bit in need of it by this point, and we'll end up at the Homes of Hope (YFC) orphanage, so will have time to hang out with the kids. We'll also see the newly opened Gitega International Academy that we're raising money for, as well as the orphanage school and medical clinic.

Wednesday 22 May

Gitega to Muyinga, 58 miles (93km). The centre of country to the North East. Again we'll not be covering a vast mileage but the hills will keep it 'interesting'!

Thursday 23 May

Muyinga to Kayanza, 65 miles (105km). The North East to the Central North. Another tough day in the mountains.

Friday 24 May

Kayanza to Cibitoke, 52 miles (83km). The Central North to the North West. We'll finally leave the mountains only to return to the hot sweaty plain again.

Saturday 25 May

Cibitoke back to the capital, Bujumbura. Just 38 miles (61km), although 9 of them 15km of them are too bad for our bikes so we'll be forced to load them up onto the bus. Not a long day, but enough time for an evening celebration by the lake by night


Gitega International Academy (GIA) Website

GIA from the ground up video

Who is Simon Guillebaud and what is Great Lakes Outreach?

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About the charity

GLO is a movement of strategic ministries pioneering the transformation of Burundi, one of the hungriest nations in the world. Our partners work in education, sport, business, healthcare and more. Your gift will bring life, peace and hope to thousands of the most vulnerable. Thank you!

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £587.80 Gift Aid
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