For the past three years I have wanted to raise money for the African Street Children’s Organisation (ASCO), a charity based in Jinja, Uganda that was set up in 2010.
As you may, or may not, know – I’ve trained twice to cycle top to bottom of the UK with a group, but annoying last minute circumstances like breaking my leg and a deadline after the coach departure time got moved forward have got in the way.
I still want to raise money for this charity so have decided I if I couldn’t make the old event, I will make my own event.
Next Sunday I’m cycling the London ride 100, and this will mark day one of an attempt to cycle from Birmingham to Budapest, unsupported, carrying all my own stuff including a tent. I’m doing it on a minimal budget, camping and couch surfing along the way. I’ll be cycling about 90 miles a day and aim to cover 1600 miles over 18 days.
The reason I’m supporting this charity is because it has completely changed the lives of 24 former street children.
There are 150 million street children in the world today. While some manage to get by with small jobs such as shoe-shining, market-selling etc. or by begging and searching rubbish bins, many also end up dying on the pavement, victims of drugs, gangs and disease. Without any form of basic education and economic training, the future is bleak for these kids and their life expectancy terrifyingly low. ASCO is one organisation that is actively changing this issue in the region of Jinja, Uganda.
At the start of 2010 the ASCO boys were living on the streets, now they live together in a house and get to go to local schools. These boys now have a ‘normal’ life to live, a privilege we can take for granted living where we do.
I’m fundraising to contribute to general running costs such as the monthly rent of the ASCO house, school fees for the boys and food. Prices in Uganda have been rising over the last 3 years and they continue to do so making it increasingly hard to maintain this non-governmental organisation.
For more info, about the project and the boys check out GI ASCO on facebook (search GI ASCO – Get Involved with the African Street Children Organisation). Also check out the GI Trust website (www.gitrust.org.uk).
If you factor in my tendency to be navigationally challenged, that’s another reason to sponsor here!!
Follow me on Strava and you can track my cycle daily and give abuse when i’m crawling! Some people are joining the UK part of the cycle from Birmingham to the port in Harwich – I invite anyone along, but most importantly, give your money for this great cause.