Cycle to Zero22 October 2014
On 25th October, a team of 24 cyclists will take off from Swaziland’s peaceful Usutu Forest and embark on a 250-400 km breathtaking journey across the mountainous kingdom of Swaziland, ending in ‘the place where the sun rises ‘– the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. They will be participating in m2m’s inaugural Cycle to Zero to raise funds to help m2m eliminate paediatric AIDS by reaching more HIV-positive mothers and their babies with lifesaving education and support.
This unique opportunity will combine the beauty of Africa with direct access to m2m projects and staff, while at the same time pushing physical boundaries, all in support of mothers2mothers. Cycle to Zero will give riders the opportunity to experience some of Africa’s natural wonders, including the dramatic landscape of the Malolotja National Park, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and Three Rondavel’s spectacular geological formations, and panoramic vistas from ‘God’s Window.’ The ride ends on the doorstep of one of the largest game reserves in Africa, Kruger National Park. Along the way, cyclists will have the rare opportunity to visit m2m sites and meet with Mentor Mothers to learn more about their stories and the inspiring work they do. They will also spend time with key people within the organisation, including CEO Frank Beadle de Palomo, Country Directors for Swaziland and South Africa, and other senior staff.
m2m has been delighted by the commitment and innovation that our U.K. friends and participants have shown over the last six months. Team members have been training for months, many of them braving an exceptionally rainy British summer. They have also been busy raising money through fundraising events, online campaigns, and sponsorships. This autumn, London was host to ‘Art for Zero,’ a showcase of international art for sale, and an eBay charity auction featuring memorabilia from the worlds of international rugby and music. Thanks to the tremendous fundraising efforts of every cyclist, £50,000 has been raised to date.
Joining the Cycle to Zero team, which is being led by m2m U.K. Trustee Carolina Manhusen Schwab and m2m U.K. & South Africa Trustee Derek Lubner, are four ‘Buddies’. The Buddies are m2m staff members from Swaziland and South Africa who applied to go above and beyond their daily responsibilities to represent m2m on the ride. They are being sponsored by individual donors and corporate sponsors who are unable to participate themselves. In the words of employee Joy Zhang in m2m’s Cape Town office, “I am just such a big fan of mothers2mothers and will cycle to zero, or fly to the moon, to support Mentor Mothers across Africa who do the important work they do.” To read more about the Cycle to Zero participants and buddies, click here.
m2m’s Mentor Mothers and the lifesaving work they do are at the heart of both m2m and Cycle to Zero, and we need your help to push us that extra mile further to the finishing line at the Kruger National Park. By sponsoring an m2m staff Buddy, or donating to a cyclist, you can become part of our journey through sub-Saharan Africa to reach our goal of zero transmission of HIV.