53%
$2,139
of $4,000 Raised
20
Donors
14
bikes
Fundraiser
Brian Moonga

Friends,

I grew up as a village boy, exposed to all the dangers and uncertainty of rural life. Even if my father always encouraged me to work hard in school - to me he was just being the ordinary school teacher in a village. I was smart, but that is probably because my father was a teacher, and I didn't have to run 4 miles to school (8 miles a day!)

After joining World Bicycle Relief, I looked back at my life's journey and realized how vulnerable we all were - growing up amidst all sorts of flora and fauna, so detached from civilization. I realized that I probably wasn't smart, but lucky. I realized that my friends who had to endure the excruciating school marathon for 7 years, just to get to high school may have done better if Buffalo Bicycles did exist then.

This moves me to tears as I quantify the enormous gift that our donors and supporters have put together to change the lives of these 56,400 Zambian children who can now live their dreams like me and deservedly rise to be CEOs in the future. This gesture is changing lives, and the least I can say is THANK YOU.

- Brian

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MY RIDE FROM LUSAKA TO LIVINGSTONE

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Day 1: LUSAKA TO KAFUE
This day was a pleasant surprise as the Ministry of Education took over the send-off program. The Permanent Secretary involved Educational Broadcasting Services, who provided TV coverage. Staff from the Ministry Headquarters joined in a send-off escort.

I rode Lusaka to Kafue in less than two hours. 

Day 2: KAFUE TO MAZABUKA 
On the way to Mazabuka, I was met by more than 40 Nega Nega School pupils on bicycles who rode with me for 5 km, waving and cheering me on.

At Nanga School, the children sang with pride and recited poems in expression of joy over the gift of bicycles. 

Day 3: MAZABUKA to PEMBA

While in Mazabuka, I was featured on the radio with the District Education Board Secretary to thank our donors and the community of the town.

I left by 6 a.m., riding through the sugar plantations to Munenga School. I had the opportunity to ride with a few students in the early hours. It was such a pleasure to see the happy faces.

By 9 a.m., I was back on the main road heading to Monze. I realized then that there is general uphill incline all the way! It proved to be the hardest part of the ride, but I was getting used to it at the same time.

Reaching Monze, I branched off to Choongo School where I received the most spectacular reception!

Pupils rode sandwiching me all the way - all while carrying a “Thank You” banner.

The poetry was outstanding, and the parents joined in thanking our donors for the 56,400 Bicycles.

After riding into Monze, I was received by the Council Chair (Mayor) and the DEBS. We later had a nice radio program at Sky fm.

Following the radio program, I still felt strong, so I proceeded to Pemba, reaching there by 10 p.m. Interestingly, I found all rooms fully booked! I had to share the room with the security guard. 

Day 4: PEMBA to CHOMA

On this section, I had no school to visit. It was the most hilly part of the ride and as I conquered the third and highest peak ... bang! My derailleur broke!!

I had to walk 11 km to Batoka to buy a single-speed chain. After fixing it, i proceeded to Choma in single speed! This seems to have been designed to remind me of the long journeys that children walk to school.

I rested on Saturday. 

Early Sunday morning, I embarked on fixing the broken derailleur. The replacement part that had been shipped from Lusaka was a wrong fit. I had to apply to the village engineering to cut it to size.

Mr. Diaphord Shamasamu - a teacher from Livingstone - arrived in Choma to render support up to Livingstone. Mr. Shamasamu had ridden 1000 km on a campaign against gender violence.

On Sunday evening, we were featured on the radio, where Mr Shamasamu expressed gratitude from a teacher’s perspective. He indicated how stressful it is to handle a class of tired pupils.

Day 5: CHOMA to ZIMBA

This was meant to be a Choma-Kalomo Ride.

On the way, we were met by Mukwela school pupils who rode with us up to the school. There, we met a huge number of parents and traditional leaders. They were all so thankful for the bicycles and promised to help care for this unique gift.

We were in Kalomo by noon and checked into a lodge.

While at Voice of Kalomo Radio for a talk show, the mayor of Livingstone called and requested that we arrive on Tuesday rather than Wednesday because he would be out of town. This was not negotiable.

Just after the radio program, we bought lights for our bikes, checked out of the nice lodge and attacked the remaining 55 km to Zimba. We realized after crossing Kalomo river that we had missed lunch. We had two chocolates and four litres of water between us and pure famine.

We arrived in Zimba around 10 p.m, and stopped in at a local restaurant.

As Shams and I debated who eats the only fish available, a huge fat rat popped out of the hole at the base of the display... scampered over the sausages and disappeared behind the bowl of fried chicken all in a flash!

Petrified, I asked the humble lady if what I saw was what it is, and she said with a smile, “Yes, it is a rat. Are you scared of them?”

As we walked to the door, I told the lady, I am more scared of the bubonic plague!

That is Zimba for you.

Day 6: ZIMBA to LIVINGSTONE

The Zimba - Livingstone Ride was the easiest ... almost downhill all the way.

As we enjoyed the coasting, a truck almost swept Mr. Shamasamu off the highway. He was forced to swerve into me, and I capsized into a culvert headlong! I crushed my helmet and landed on my water bag. Thankfully, I only got one abrasion and a sore neck.

The arrival into Livingstone was more that I expected. The mayor summoned the Commander of the Airforce Col. Barry and 25 other senior officers on bicycles to meet us 25 kilometers from Livingstone. We enjoyed a military escort up to the 15-km peg, where the mayor joined us. From there, we were led by police escort up to the post office, where the media and other members of the public were waiting.

The reception was spectacular, to say the least!


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