Vélo Afrique 2017: a trip to remember
10/07/2018

Vélo Afrique 2017: a trip to remember

Hans Christian Andersen once said “to travel is to live”. And he was right. Some journeys we never forget. Personally, I will always remember my trip to Africa in November, 2017. With a group of 40 kindred spirits, we set out for Cameroon on a fundraising mountain bike tour with Vélo Afrique. Vélo Afrique is a non-profit organization that invests in the construction of schools in Cameroon and Senegal. The proceeds of our trip went specifically toward the extension of a technical school for 700 boys and girls in Foumbot.

A unique experience

Thanks to We Care, a group of volunteers within delaware who support and organize the organization’s social corporate responsibility initiatives, I was able to double the sum I raised personnally for this valuable project.

Financial support is an important aspect of such a journey, but money alone doesn’t measure up to the unique experience this trip turned out to be. The overwhelmingly beautiful landscapes, the heart-warming friendliness of the dozens of people who greeted us and cheered for us along the road and the striking desolation of the countryside profoundly touched me. The impressive surroundings lightened the physical endurance of biking the 60 to 90 kilometres per day needed to reach Foumbot. Apparently, pain and pleasure really can go hand in hand.

Goosebumps

After ten days we arrived at Foumbot, where a crowd of hundreds of enthusiastic children and supporters welcomed us. I still get goosebumps when I think back on it today. If this bike trip through Cameroon taught me anything, it was that we can make a difference in a world that sometimes seems dominated by apathy and resignation. The act of raising money for children who receive few chances in life is extremely rewarding. The flawless organization by Vélo Afrique, the incredible atmosphere within the team and the beauty of Cameroon (unfortunately for us bikers, coupled with the rawness of its roads) all made this an unforgettable adventure.

If you’d like to learn more about Vélo Afrique and my personal experience, then check my travel reports and some footage of our trip

 

Author: Wim Dekimpe, a proud member of the #peopleofdelaware