Four members of the Kelly Benefit Strategies (KBS) team leave for Africa this week as part of a trip to raise awareness of World Bicycle Relief (WBR). KBS pros Scott Zwizanski, Neil Shirley, Reid Mumford and Alex Candelario will make the 12-day trip to Zambia, accompanying team title sponsor, John Kelly, President, Kelly Benefit Strategies.
KBS chairman Senator Francis Kelly and World Bicycle Relief President and SRAM Corporation Founder F.K. Day will also travel with the riders, helping them to learn firsthand about the impact World Bicycle Relief and its low cost bicycle relief programs have on helping people in developing nations improve their access to healthcare, education and economic development.
"We all enjoy our bicycles and our athletes make a living on them " said John Kelly. "But it's incredible when you see the impact access to the reliable transportation a bicycle affords for people in struggling, underdeveloped countries. In villages and remote locations, a bike can be the key to getting children to school and transporting goods for sale which equals food on the table."
During the trip, the KBS athletes will tour the distribution center of the World Vision-led RAPIDS project - World Bicycle Relief's partner in delivering 23,000 bicycles in support of volunteer, community based HIV/AIDS caregivers in the past three years. They will also spend time building World Bicycle Relief bicycles and caregiver kits.
Other activities will include delivering World Bicycle Relief bicycles to recipients; touring the micro enterprise orientation program in Harmos, which helps local people build their own small businesses; and visiting Bimbe Basic School to interact with students and teachers who will benefit from the World Bicycle Relief bicycles purchased using funds raised by the Kelly Benefit Strategies team.
"I'm really looking forward to this trip and to being able to see firsthand how a bicycle makes a real difference to people in developing nations," said Alex Candelario. "I'm eager to be a part of the assembly and distribution of the caregiver kits and bicycles and to learn more about what we can continue to do to help impact those in Zambia and beyond."
The athletes will also do a 40km bike ride from Palabana to Chongwe, meeting with local charcoal riders along the route and learning about the difference bicycles make to their livelihoods.
"The impact of simple, sustainable mobility on the poor cannot be overstated," said F.K. Day. "I am certain that this trip will leave a deep and lasting impression on them of the true power that bicycles have in the hands of those who need them most."