Motorcycle Outreach (MoR) was voted the official charity of the Women’s International Motorcycle Association (WIMA) at its 2014 annual rally, in Zakopane Poland. The Presidents of the 15 nations present at the AGM took on the task of raising £2000 for MoR’s latest project “Build A Bike”.
WIMA aim was to raise £2000 to provide another motorbike for a fantastic new project based in Sonega, South Tanzania. The fantastic news is that we are now well over that target ! There has been a range of great fundraising; from especially commissioned art work, to baking, to harassing fellow revelers in pubs !
MoR was established 10 years ago as a result of the actions of Simon Millward, a motorcyclist who spent 5 years travelling around the world. Following his untimely death in 2005, Simon’s friends and family continued his work by formally establishing Motorcycle Outreach: Run by volunteers, MoR helps governmental and non-governmental organisations to provide health care in rural areas. They have a successful track record in Indonesia where they have been supporting a project for 10 years. People in rural areas struggle to access health care and motorbikes are the ideal way to get health care professionals to towns and villages, often over challenging terrain. As well as improving maternal and infant mortality rates, they can provide health care information and advice, provide vaccinations and detect other health issues early. As well as providing bikes, MoR establishes a ‘Zero Breakdown System’, ensuring that the projects are sustainable, the bikes are well cared for and regularly serviced.
Supporting the Tanzanian NGO, Orphan Relief Services, MoR has recently provided 3 motorbikes for midwives and other healthcare professionals. They will use these bikes to reach mothers and their children, providing them with essential healthcare and education they would otherwise be unable to access.
Adventure motorcyclist Claire Elsden, was in Tanzania earlier this year where she handed over bikes from this fundraising project which WIMA played a part in. Claire experienced first hand just how grateful the local community was for this incredible help and support. “It was a real honour and privilege to be in Songea, Tanzania, to visit the team at ORES who are launching the pilot project with us as well as the local communities who will benefit from these mobile midwifery services.
During the week that I was there, my time was mainly focused on getting the project set up as best as possible, training the midwives in motorcycle maintenance, scoping out the local government run rider training centre and hiring a mechanic to look after the bikes. While this work was enormously satisfying, the most memorable moment of the week was at the launch event (organised to celebrate the beginning of this project with villagers, local and national media alike), where an offer to dance with the local ladies of the community turned into an impromptu hugathon! Each and every woman wanted to give me a hug to express their thanks and love for what Motorcycle Outreach is doing for their communities, and in turn for every person who had donated to help raise the funds to make this project possible. A truly wonderful experience”.
The money raised by WIMA members will now pay for another bike to support the amazing work being carried out in Tanzania. Please help by clicking HERE where you will be redirected to the WIMA donation page. Further information about Motorcycle Outreach can be found on their website.