Riding for Kids in South Africa

Next month, 4 guys from New York (Brad Foster), London (Angus Simpson) and California (Quinton Berry and Ziya Arik) will be tackling the gruelling 8-day Cape Epic mountain bike stage race in South Africa's Western Cape - riding 460 miles and climbing 53,000 feet - and hope to raise funds for a very special South African organization- in which Brad's Mom Lesley has played an integral part for many years.

Cape Epic Mountain Bike Race

Inami Creche (a Daycare Center in a township outside Durban) provides love, food, shelter and basic pre-school education for roughly 50 infants and kids aged 7 and under - kids who are either orphaned by AIDS and being raised by older siblings, or kids of single impoverished mothers - many of whom are young school girls.  This special place allows mothers and older siblings to go to school or work - whilst keeping the young kids safe fed, warm and safe from harm.  Things we take for granted.

1.5 million children have been orphaned by AIDS in South Africa. The luckier ones have relatives or neighbors who take them in.  However, more than
120 000 kids are living in child-headed households, where the oldest children take full parental responsibility  - taking care of younger siblings, and ill or dying parents or their elders. These kids would have to leave school to do so - thereby removing any hope for brightening their own future.

Single mothers are often forced to leave school or their jobs to care for their young pre-school children - spiraling into even more poverty.

Inami was started in 2006 by Eunice - a remarkable woman in the community who saw the plight of these young mothers and children responsible for their young siblings. She found an old converted rotting shipping container sitting on a deserted lot and daily took in around 20 infants and children. Despite appalling conditions, the kids were well cared for and happy.  Eunice lives in a tin shack across the road and starts her day by getting up at 5am to collect water at a communal tap, and cooking porridge (oatmeal) for all the kids on her little paraffin stove and carrying everything up the hill.  Back then, days conisted of teaching the kids to count and recite their alphabets in English and Zulu.  Nursery rhymes were sung as kids danced to the beat of an old rusty cooking pot.  They had no toys - bits of wire, stones and old plastic had to do. No books and no blankets for the colder winter months: yet love abounded and childen huddled for warmth.

Back in 2006: still in the old converted container

Eunice and 'her' kids inside the container

Eunice and Phelo's home

Fast forward a few years, and funds were raised to build two wooden cabins serving as classrooms with some toys and books, and most importantly - install a toilet and an outside tap with clean running water.  The Department of Health now uses Inami as a base for vaccinating children in the community. Eunice has planted a vegetable garden which serves as an outdoor classroom and helps to feed the kids.  Most mothers cannot afford the meagre requested fee of $6/month, yet all children are welcome.

Today: two real classrooms and shade!

Eunice and now her daughter Phelo are still the loving custodians of Inami - and Phelo is currently attending College to become a certified Nursery School teacher - but more funds are needed to meet Phelo's tuition.  The ultimate goal is to register Inami as a certified nursery school. To achive this, proper sanitation and a kitchen are required before they can become licensed.  

Today: now this looks like a classroom!

Boys proudly showing off their 'uniform' T-shirts

Much more is needed at this special place: an ongoing supply of books, toys and writing materials; with many criminals in the area, a more secure fence and locking gate are critical and still needed - to keep the children safe by day and the equipment from being stolen at night.  Apart from Eunice's vegetable garden, there is no garden on this dusty lot.  Funds are needed to continue growing vegetables, plant mango and papaya trees to provide fresh fruit for the kids, and a lawn to play on.

We hope you love the story of Inami as much as we do and will join us in helping this amazing little place and these incredible women reach their goals.  We would be incredible grateful if you sponsored these guys who have trained so hard and will endure a crazy race to ride for these kids. Thank you!

Donations

  • Maria Kacha 
    • $25 
    • 60 mos
  • Maria Kacha 
    • $25 
    • 61 mos
  • Bryan O'Hora 
    • $30 
    • 63 mos
  • Norbert and Cliona Galligan 
    • $100 
    • 63 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 63 mos
See all

Organizer

Brad Foster 
Organizer
Rye, NY
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