Keen cyclist and Tearfund supporter Nigel Quinn has just returned from cycling across the Land of a Thousand Hills.
Nigel, who is from Drumbeg, knew he would face a gruelling physical challenge during the cycle: the group of 15 cyclists - 11 from Northern Ireland and the rest from England and Wales - cycled over 110 miles in high temperatures, with an elevation reaching over 6,000 feet in the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’.
“The combination of the heat and altitude was a little daunting, but this was a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the challenge of cycling in this beautiful mountainous country, as well visiting some of the projects there which Tearfund are partnering and meeting the folks who are benefiting from the various initiatives,” said Nigel. “We were very ably supported and encouraged by our two guides from Africa Rising; the Rwandan professional cycling team, one of whom had recently competed in the Rio Olympics.”
The group of cyclists, mainly from Northern Ireland, set out on the cycle with the aim of raising £50,000 to help over 800 people in Rwanda move from a cycle of despair to a cycle of hope. The group has already reached over 80% of their target.
Nigel met a number of people in the rural areas of the country whose lives had been significantly improved by their involvement in ‘self-help groups’. “They were able to access funds to buy animals such as pigs and goats leading to an increase in profitability for their small businesses and an improvement in the quality of their lives and those of their families.”