On June 27th, 2006, Kylie Hicklenton and Jason Shim will dip their bicycle wheels into the Pacific Ocean and begin a 6,500 km journey towards St. John's, Newfoundland to raise funds for bicycle ambulances in Malawi.
Kylie and Jason are not athletes. They are just average university students who want to make a difference for those living with HIV/AIDS.
Their goal is to raise $50,000 for World University Services Canada to support local partner organizations in Malawi through the Uniterra Bike for AIDS program. These funds will be used to provide resources to grassroots community-based initiatives that are on the front lines in the battle against the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.
What are bicycle ambulances?
If a person living with HIV/AIDS needs medical attention and is unable to walk, getting to the clinic can be very difficult. The bicycle ambulance addresses this problem. A lightweight trailer and a removable stretcher are attached to a bicycle, enabling bed-ridden or injured people to be safely transported. The relatively simple design enables the trailers and stretchers to be made locally with available materials.
How will these help people in Malawi?
In Sub-Saharan Africa, over 65% of the population lives in rural areas where bicycles are the primary mode of transportation. In rural Malawi, community-based volunteers trained as HIV/AIDS educators, caregivers and advocates travel to neighbouring communities and homes. Their ability to serve people is limited by their lack of transportation. Bicycles can make a huge difference. More people can be reached for prevention activities, care, support and guidance.
How can I help?
Sometimes a little money can go a long way, especially on wheels! $120 will buy a bike and $380 will provide a bicycle ambulance (bicycle and stretcher). By donating, you can make a difference in the lives of Malawian people living with HIV/AIDS and their families.
Click here to donate