In December 2005, Tom Ritchey and Gary Boulanger, directors of Servant Leaders Outreach (takeitslo.blogspot.com), toured Rwanda by mountain bike. A short DVD documentary was filmed to capture their Rwandan experience, the first for both. The trip opened their eyes to the beauty of the people and the need to assist Rwanda in its continuing reconciliation 12 years after the genocide that killed nearly one million people in 100 days.
By February 2006, "Project Rwanda" was established, and a strong board of directors was formed. Despite Africa’s reputation as a needful continent rife with government corruption and political red tape, Project Rwanda has seen opportunities become reality by bringing to life September’s "Wooden Bike Classic" event, intended to connect Rwandans with the outside bicycling world community.
"Project Rwanda’s vision is to further the economic development of Rwanda through initiatives based on the bicycle as a tool and symbol of hope," said Boulanger. "Our goal is use the bike to help boost the Rwandan economy as well as re-brand Rwanda as a beautiful and safe place to do business and visit freely."
The Wooden Bike Classic festival will be held in the Kibuye region of Rwanda, Africa, from September 16-17, 2006. "The Wooden Bike Classic is designed to represent Rwanda as a safe haven for its inhabitants and visitors alike," said Ritchey. "It is through the culture and history of the Wooden Bike that those outside this country will connect to this country and its people."
For more information, visit www.projectrwanda.org or contact Boulanger at firstname.lastname@example.org.