Four men are to embark on a four-day cycle tour from Ladysmith to Cape Town in a bid to raise money to develop literacy among girls attending the Chumisa Primary school in Khayelitsha.
The 320km ride starting on 1 November, is in support of the Cape Town-based Thope Foundation, an NPO focused on supporting the holistic development of African girls, and the men, all of whom are from the Western Cape, are hoping to raise R100,000 for the Foundation’s work.
The money will pay for food that is provided to the children, teaching resources and transport for volunteers.
Thope Foundation co-ordinator, Rethabile Mashale, said that the organisation exists to help girl children who are struggling to cope at school. They currently have programmes running at eight primary schools but the cycle fundraiser was set to benefit the literacy centre at Chumisa Primary in Khayelitsha Site B as it was situated in one of the most disadvantaged communities.
Mashale said cyclists Donavon Geysman, Siphelele Namfu, Isaac Martin and Raafiq Kola were motivated to help the children because they themselves are family men and want to play their part as fathers.
She said that they have raised money by approaching individuals and companies for sponsorship, and that people can also donate through the Zapper app which transfers payment by scanning a QR code. The app can be downloaded at zapper.com and the QR codes are on the Thope Foundation Facebook page.
The cyclists also required donations of equipment such as cycling shorts, gloves, water bottles, sunscreen and backpacks, amongst other things.
“The money that we want to raise is to help the students,” said Namfu, adding that the children Thope Foundation worked with were showing great academic improvement.
Martin said the money they raised would be “very helpful” for the volunteer programme.
“With volunteering we can do more and literally change the lives of other people,” he said.
The cyclists are expected to be welcomed at Chumisa Primary at the end of their journey on 4 November.
Meet the cyclists
Siphelele Namphu: My personal mission for this initiative is to preach the gospel that you are already preaching and making people aware of the hard work done by Thope Foundation.
Donavon Geysman: My personal mission for this initiative is: to use this platform to create awareness and to advertise the good work that is done by Thope Foundation.
Raafix Kolia: My personal mission for this initiative is to create awareness of the unequal society where gender based violence is a norm, to teach others that we as men have a role in empowering women and girls.
Isaac Martin: My personal mission for this initiative is simply to create awareness of the good work that Thope is doing, and the more you make people aware of the good work.