RACING & RAISING FUNDS FOR BUMI
“This year, the roads were bad. Not all of them, but enough to break some bikes, and some people. About a third of the participants didn’t finish the race, and four bikes were destroyed. The Tour of Ara is hard. Very hard. But it is also beautiful”.
Coureur et Fondateur, Stan Engelbrecht, À propos du Tour de l’Ara 2017.

The same can be said of the work of BUMI, a humanitarian and development NGO based in Lubumbashi. Sarah Moser recently took over the coordination of the NGO, following her parents who started in 1985. She says: ‘Helping a child to overcome suffering, rejection, abuse or exploitation is very difficult, sometimes impossible. But when we get there, all our efforts are worth it. Today we care for 150 children aged from a few months to 22 years. Everyone carries a heavy past, everyone must be given the chance to have a better future’.

HOW THE IDEA OF ‘RACING AND RAISING’ WAS BORN?

Last year, in June 2017, at the close of the DRC Mining Week, Deon Bruwer, CEO of Forum Property Africa and Luano City Development, took a tour around the Children's Village of BUMI. Already at that time there were many needs, but Sarah explains: ‘One of the greatest challenges we have to face is that the Village fence wall is not yet finished. We therefore face the risks of theft and intrusions that can harm our children and facilities. As a child protection agency, we need to address this problem as soon as possible’.

THE TOUR

3 months later in the cold winter month of August, Deon took on a challenge at the 4th Tour of Ara 2017, with a goal of helping to raise funds for the Bumi wall.

The Tour of Ara, named after the Southern Hemisphere constellation of Ara, is a prestige race that is ridden mostly on South African-built steel racing bicycles in the proud tradition of the early Italian multi-day stage races.

Throughout the 870 kilometres of gravel (in 6 days), someone, somewhere was donating a dollar or more to help with the goal.

Kids in the village knew about the initiative and were the best supporters Deon could get. Sarah explains: ‘Our children don’t necessarily understand what fundraising means, but they understand when someone is fighting for them. Through the physical effort to reach that objective, the kids felt valued and loved, which is already a victory in itself’.

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