Bikers ride 92 000km for feeding programme

The Mustadafin Foundation is appealing to the public to support its feeding scheme for preschool children.

Bikers who have set off on a 40-day round trip from Cape Town to Tanzania are hoping to raise at least R1 million for the Mustadafin Foundation’s Feed a Belly, Feed a Mind campaign.

Mustadafin feeds almost 28 000 preschool children daily. Three years ago, the organisation started an SMS fund-raising campaign for this initiative, but it got off to a sluggish start

Abdurachman Edwards has been a volunteer at Mustadafin for more than 20 years, and happens to be part of a group of friends with a shared love for motorbikes and exploring Africa. When his group of 10 planned their next adventure, they decided to use this opportunity to raise funds for Mustadafin.

“We are a group of guys who grew up in a segregated community, and we have always been inquisitive about the rest of Africa. After 1994, when the curtain dropped, we started exploring. Our first overland trip took us four months. We drove the length of Africa. The Western media likes to portray Africa as this dark continent, but we are the most hospitable people in the world – open and helpful. Not once did we feel threatened. We are grateful for the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the many cultures of Africa. We also knew the struggles Mustadafin had in raising funds, and we agreed that this is also an opportunity for us to do something to help,” Mr Edwards said.

Although they are not an official bikers’ club, they decided to call themselves Bikers for Change ZA after agreeing on this fund-raising initiative.

Another biker, Shaheed Isaacs, said they were blessed with the time, money and physical ability to undertake this journey.

“It is therefore incumbent that we give back,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun trip, but we will also be doing our duty as human beings to assist those most in need. The real stars in this are the children who receive this daily meal. One day they will become the givers. We can all make a difference, even if it’s to sponsor one meal for a family of four.”

Mustadafin director Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem thanked the bikers and asked the public to support them.

“It is so great that Bikers for Change ZA has come on board to make a difference. There are so many children going to bed hungry, and it can affect them physically, psychologically and emotionally. We call on the community to support this initiative. If one million people can each donate a R12 towards this campaign, it will be such a great help. We feed 27 910 children on a daily basis, throughout the year from here to the Eastern Cape, and a successful campaign will definitely make a big impact on the communities we serve,” Ms Johnstone-Cassiem said.

A day before they set off on their 92 000km adventure on Friday May 13, Bikers for Change ZA and representatives from Mustadafin Foundation gathered at Harley Davidson in Cape Town to collect a motorcycle the business loaned to them for this cause.

If you can assist, visit Musdafin’s website at www.mustadafin.org.za or call 021 633 0010.

Volunteer and Bikers for Change ZA member Abdurachman Edwards and Mustadafin Foundation’s director, Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem, check out the motorbike that was sponsored for the 92 000km trip.