After 9 days and cycling over 1600 km, Bernie and Ross have crossed the enormous province of Ontario. The diversity and beauty of what we’ve seen is staggering. From the immensity of Lake Superior, the massive granite outcrops and seemingly infinite of forests of the north, the warmth and beauty of cottage country, the stateliness of Ottawa, the sprawling farms and quaint old towns of eastern Ontario, the historic architecture and Amish wagons…it has all been wonderful!
And we have met some really nice people along the way. If you have been following us on Facebook or Instagram you know that we have been asking people three questions: 1. What do you LOVE about Canada? 2. What do you LOVE about where you live? 3. Do you know anyone living with a disability and can you tell us about their story? Check our FB/IG for their answers.
People have also been asking us questions. The main one being, “Why are you doing this”? The answer makes for a long story. Will you bear with us and read it?
1. The Need. For any and all things we take on as Old Guys, we are convinced of the need. Be it support for street kids in Kenya or survivors of human trafficking, or the reality of high rates of maternal mortality in Sierra Leone. The Bamboo Bicycle Expedition is no different. We are raising money for mobility devices for kids in Uganda because we know that among all the disadvantaged people on our planet, children living with disabilities in developing countries, are possibly THE most disadvantaged.
2. The Ability to Make a Difference. We can’t solve the world’s problems, but we know our modest efforts (and your support) make a huge different in the lives of real people, some of whom we have met and love.
3. The People Doing the Work. Another key motivator is the desire to support good people doing good work. People like Bev and Paul Carrick of Embrace and like Steve Williams, Embrace’s partner in Uganda.
As a young man, Steve was travelling in Uganda and was inspired to purchase land surrounding the beautiful Kyaninga crater lake…and build a safari lodge overlooking the beautiful lake and the Rwenzori mountains to the west (the famed “mountains of the moon”). There’s a picture of the young Steve with the sketch of the lodge and guest cabins below…holding a manual on how to build a log cabin. Steve made the vision a reality, one made of massive eucalyptus logs and vast quantities of sweat equity. Today the Kyaninga Lodge is a premiere destination for Ugandans and people from all over the world.
Steve married a lovely Ugandan woman, Asha and had a child together. The first-born son, Sydney, was born with cerebral palsy. In the process of providing every opportunity for Sydney, Steve recognized that there was a very high occurrence of cerebral palsy and other disabilities in the area. So…Steve started the Kyaninga Child Development Centre (KCDC) and has (along with dedicated staff) made a huge impact on many thousands of kids living with disabilities. To reduce reliance on foreign donations, Steve started a social enterprise, the Kyaninga Dairy, which produces some of the finest goat cheese in Africa. With his own money, severely stretched by the impact of COVID on the tourism sector in Uganda, Steve has also spent years perfecting the production of wheelchairs made with local bamboo and labor.
That's the long answer: the short answer to the questions, “why are we doing the Bamboo Bicycle Expeditions?” is: There is a real an under-funded need; we can make a difference; we want to support Bev and Paul, and Steve in their important work. Will you help?
1 Bamboo Wheelchair = $ 150
10 Bamboo Wheelchairs = $ 1500
1 Bamboo Walker = $ 50
10 Bamboo Walkers = $ 500
Your Support of Any Kind = Our Thanks + New Futures for Kids in Uganda
(Under "Fund?" select "Old Guys in Action Bamboo Bicycle Expedition".) Thanks!
The Old Guys in Action Cross-Canada Bamboo Bicycle Expedition is a fundraiser for Embrace International Foundation, a Canmore-based NGO that works with children living with disabilities in developing countries.