Over the next 6 months, as I continue to round the world by bicycle, I am presently pedaling from Cambodia, Asia to Africa via Laos, China, Kazakhstan, and Russia crossing the Black Sea and pedaling through Turkey and then catching a boat into Africa. The dream is not about cycling there, for after 21 months of pedaling, 14 countries and a whole lot a bicycle miles already, Pandemic The Magic Bicycle and my legs have proven to be such trusty steeds that with a little hope and faith, I will arrive by magic bicycle in Africa sometime in the early summer. However, as the embryo of the dream develops in the near future into a fetus, the developing dream will span across 3 continents and 7 countries.
The dream? It is to raise awareness and funds for bicycle ambulances in rural Africa throughout my 6,000 mile pedaling voyage to get there. A what? That’s right, a bicycle ambulance. In rural Africa, the people are so inventive and spirited, that a bicycle is truly saving lives. In countries throughout sub-Sahara Africa, bicycles with attached stretchers are being used to transport birthing mothers and the sick to the nearest hospital. In rural Malawi, often the closest hospital is 30 kilometers (about 20 miles) away. The surrounding villages lack funds for vehicles and without adequate medical resources women and babies are dying in childbirth at alarming rates. With the UN pledge of reducing child mortality rates by ½ this century the rural villages of Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda are in need of bicycle ambulances to safely transport birthing mothers and the sick to nearby hospitals. A bicycle ambulance costs about $500USD, they are being built locally, a facility in Namibia has already provided 55 to Namibian villages, in those regions the woman and child mortality rates have been drastically reduced. In most of sub-Sahara Africa, there is a severe shortage of doctors and proper medical facilities. Often a woman in the village serves as a midwife, babies are frequently delivered in a hut on a dirt floor without medical supplies, a mere 30 miles from the hospital.
Adequate transportation to the hospital is often needed due to infection and other complications. The 20-30 miles of terrain between village and hospital is dirt track roads; it is perfect terrain for the bicycle ambulance. And African legs are proving to be perfect for the job.
The sturdy construction of the bicycle ambulance holds up better to the rugged terrain then other modes of transportation. Some bicycle ambulances are mobile stretchers; others are bicycles with portable beds and a canopy roof. The villages that already use a bicycle ambulance have reduced their infant and woman mortality rates by 90%. Therefore, I will be dedicating the next leg of my around the world by bicycle adventure to raising awareness and funds for a bicycle ambulance that will be given to the local midwife through a partnership with the local NGO…
How can I support this?
· Pass The Hat, donate a couple of dollars through the hat donate button on the website, www.skalatitude.com. I have over 300 Facebook friends, over 100 Twitter followers, a couple hundred e-mail contacts and 7000 people have read the website. If every one of these people threw a buck or euro in the hat that would equal more than one bicycle ambulance. And if each one of these people passed the hat at work, school, meetings and each one these people passed the hat…well you get the idea
· Not up for tossing a buck in the hat? You can always help spread the word. Forward this as an e-mail to your contacts, tell your Facebook friends, share it on Twitter, talk about it on Skype
· Buy a Be The Adventure T-shirt through www.skalatitude.com, for any donation of $20USD or more, you get a cool custom designed logo T-shirt in white or black shipped for free to anywhere in the world, proceeds go towards the purchase of the bicycle ambulance
· Shop at amazon.com through the webpage www.skalatitude.com. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to shop at amazon.com through the webpage and the small percentage I receive goes towards buying a bicycle ambulance
· Tell Oprah, just kidding…but hey dare to dream right?
A huge thank you to everyone who have already purchased a Be The Adventure t-shirt and donated towards a bicycle ambulance, for a list of featured fans visit www.skalatitude.com. A special thanks to my ultra supportive Dad for shipping them out of his basement for me while I am out pedaling to Africa.
Thanking You In Advance