Riding High: Experience Africa story

Riding High: Experience Africa story

In December, Riders for Health ran its first ever Experience Africa trip to The Gambia; the home of Riders’ flagship programme. Seven participants were given a unique opportunity to ride across the beautiful country on Yamaha AG100s and see first-hand the vital work done by Riders for Health. They were tasked with riding the same roadsthat health workers have to battle every day – using the same motorcycles.

Charles Eld took part in the Experience Africa trip and explains how it felt to conquer some of the difficult sections of road:

‘It was a real adventure for me to ride a motorcycle for such a long way over some extremely challenging roads and tracks, and I am so proud of what I have achieved.’

But for Charles and the team, this was not just about riding off-road – it was about discovering the work of Riders for Health and meeting the people who make it happen:

‘By far the most important aspect of the trip was to experience the work of Riders for Health on the ground first hand and to see the very real difference they are making to people’s lives.’

One of these people is 24-year-old health worker Yogob Gassma. The team joined Yagob on her 10 kilometer motorcycle journey to run an anti-natal clinic in one of the 12 rural communities that she serves. Yogob provides vital health care services to these communities - anything from vaccinating children to teaching about good hygiene and sanitation.These villages are spread over 80 kilometres and it’s work she simply could not do without her motorcycle.She says:

‘The health of people in The Gambia is better because of the bikes. Outreach is easy with Riders for Health. I see people more frequently and can do more things.’

Yogob is one of hundreds of health workers across The Gambia, who has been trained to ride the rugged terrain and maintain a motorcycle by Riders for Health.