Cycling to Zero in MalawiOn 27 May, 40 intrepid cyclists from around the world set out on Cycle to Zero 2016, an epic 250km adventure through the lush landscape of Malawi. The challenge event took the team from the Southern Highlands, all the way to the Zomba Plateau and beyond, up the coast to Cape Maclear, while raising funds and awareness for mothers2mothers’ (m2m) lifesaving work in Malawi and six other sub-Saharan countries. The cyclists started out in Blantyre, Malawi, where they were warmly welcomed by the m2m Malawi team, led by Country Director Veena Sampathkumar. Two staff members from m2m Malawi represented their country in the Cycle — Mentor Mother Dalitso Blamu and Logistics Officer Victor Chimota – inspiring the other riders with the intense determination and enthusiasm they brought to the road each day. m2m President and CEO Frank Beadle de Palomo, also rode along, joined by other senior staff members and U.K. Trustees and Global Ambassadors. Cycle to Zero took the participants on both a physical and emotional journey, giving them a unique opportunity to see the impact that m2m Mentor Mothers have each and every day. Throughout their four days in Malawi, the cyclists visited Mentor Mothers in hospitals and clinics, and also joined Community Mentor Mothers as they visited women and their families at home. Days of intense cycling were followed by fun and engaging evenings, which allowed both new and existing m2m supporters to learn more about the work we do.
Skilled not only in pedaling but also in fundraising, the team raised over £200,000 before and during the event, and then at the end of their journey set their sights on reaching £250,000. Over the past few months, the cyclists held numerous creative fundraising events, including a rugby clinic in London run by professional players, a raffle night, and a Zumba fundraiser. Even the youngest members of Cycle to Zero family got involved in raising money and awareness for m2m, holding a musical concert for their friends to setting up a lemonade stall on one of London’s popular streets