Charity and Sponsorship

My justification for this type of adventuring is the opportunity it provides to raise awareness and funds for “one of the unsung heroes of Irish NGO’s”, Self Help Development International. Based in my neighboring county of Carlow their focus is on helping disadvantaged communities help themselves. The emphasis is on sustainable development and food and livelihood security - rather than the continuing cycle of being passive recipients of emergency aid. They have programs in five African countries.

With the need for emergency relief in Africa continuing to increase, the ‘aid business’ is coming under increasing scrutiny as to its efffectiveness. The following points impress me about Self Help Development International:

• SHDI have no ex pats working in Africa.
• There are closely monitored systems of accountability in place.
• The projects that are considered come from the local communities themselves - not simply imposed from the West.
• There is support for the concept of ‘intermediate or appropriate technology’. For example a donated new tractor may not be practical with scarce fuel supplies, parts and expertise.
• An emphasis on the importance of education and nutrition for the upcoming generation.
• The recognition that every interference has some effect in the community and the need to be sensitive to that.

Why sponsor me?
The obvious answer is because of the worthy cause! A sponsored event is usually some type of physical challenge - one that demands a certain amount from the participant, and that may stir the imagination of the donor. Kilkenny to Cape Town by motorbike will involve much planning and preparation - everything from studying country profiles and route planning; assessing health risks; bike selection and modification... to visas and other bureaucracy. The trip itself will be physically demanding, as well as testing my abilities to adapt to various situations, uncooperative officialdom, scarce water and fuel, and fatigue.

I am financing the trip myself, all donations going directly to Self Help Development International.

How to Sponsor Me...

Of course all donations will be gratefully accepted. However most people and organisations when considering sponsoring an event, quite reasonably expect that these events should be achievement based. With this in mind, my expedition will be divided up into three distinct sections. Supporters can base their sponsorship accordingly:

Kilkenny to Timbuktu (approx 8,000 km)
Timbuktu to Gabon (approx 5,000 km)
Gabon to CapeTown (approx 7,000 km)

Other Help?
Any assistance from companies, or individuals, able to support the trip in other ways would be much appreciated. For example:

- mechanical advice
- motorcycle preparation
- publicity

All such contributors will of course be acknowleged on this website.

click here for Self Help's Secure Online Donation page.
All KilkennyTo CapeTown donations acknowledged and receipted.