Sunderland Businesses Conquer Kenya Challenge

Members of Sunderland’s Business Improvement District (BID) have safely returned home to the UK after completing a gruelling cycle challenge across the unforgiving terrain of the Maasai Land in Kenya.

The seven person team cycled 160km across four days, in temperatures reaching 30+ degrees to raise funds for North East based charity the Nuru Fund.  Along the way, the team visited a number of Maasai villages including Labentera, Leshuta and Olorte.

Whilst in Olorte, the group presented the village with football shirts and footballs on behalf of Sunderland AFC and a new water filter from COCO, an international children’s charity working to alleviate poverty in the developing world.  It is the first time anyone has ever visited a Nuru Funded project since it was established in 2013.

Olorte is one of many villages across Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Nigeria which has benefited from solar powered lighting as part of the Nuru Fund Project.  The charity fund raises to replace dangerous kerosene lamps which release toxic thick black smoke with safer and healthier solar lighting.

John Craggs, Chief Executive, Gentoo Group and Chairman of BID said: “It is fantastic to see so many local businesses and their employees coming together for such a worthwhile charity.  Everyone involved should be very proud of what they have achieved, knowing their fund raising will directly impact and improve the lives of so many.”

Andrew Bradley, Centre Director, The Bridges took park in the cycle challenge and said: “I’d heard about the trip and it looked relatively straight forward. I’d cycled through China and Egypt prior to this and they were tough. But wow did I underestimate this challenge. It was significantly more difficult than any of us could have imagined, hotter, predominantly uphill and exhausting terrain. However, it was also extremely beautiful and captivating. The NURU Fund appeal truly is a great cause when you see the projects first hand and I am grateful to have been able to be involved.”

So far, the group have raised over £5,000 which will provide over 200 new solar lamps, providing safe and environmentally friendly light to over 1,200 people.