Daventry charity recognised for its groundbreaking project to support African healthworkers
Single-mindedly addressing one of the long-term systemic weaknesses in the provision of health care in Africa, Riders for Health has come up with absolutely the right solution for it - reliable and appropriate transport. As a result they were awarded the P&O Nedlloyd Award for Infrastructure in this year's Worldaware Business Awards on January 29.
The Worldaware Business Awards, now in their 14th year, recognise projects that have contributed to the development of poorer countries through innovative and sustainable commercial activities. The P&O Nedlloyd Award is given to a company or organisation, which has assisted economic and social development through the provision of appropriate, sustainable and environmentally complementary transport systems or other infrastructure.
Riders for Health is a Northamptonshire-based charity which started in 1988 when motorcycle enthusiast and former Guardian journalist Barry Coleman went to Somalia with motor cycle champion Randy Mamola to view the results of Randy's fund-raising for Save the Children. They found a lot of broken down motorcycles and learned that many children die in Africa from easily preventable diseases because health workers without transport cannot reach them.
In 1989 RfH started Transport Resource Management programmes which are developed with local people to meet local needs. The focus is on management processes sustained locally to ensure that the systems continue. The first national transport programme began in Lesotho. Riders Zimbabwe currently run the largest African programme and the main office is in Harare. Riders Nigeria has two offices and Riders DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Riders Gambia currently have one office each. In addition RfH also opened the first International Academy of Vehicle Management in Harare that teaches every aspect of vehicle management.
Today there are 146 employees of Riders for Health globally - only 14 of which are in the UK support office of Northamptonshire. The UK office is responsible for the wider strategy, planning long-term growth and fundraising, with local people carrying out maintenance, outreach and management of the vehicles.
"The provision of reliable motorised transport is one of the most fundamental and yet neglected areas of development for Africa," said Andrea Coleman, co-founder of Riders for Health. "Without it the thinly distributed and now diminishing population fails day-by-day to receive even the most basic health care - let alone other vital public services. No continent can even hope to begin the climb out of poverty without reliable transport."
"In presenting this award to Riders, Worldaware and Nedlloyd have drawn attention to this huge but apparently invisible problem. The award gives new strength to Riders' campaign to force the development movement to face the transport question squarely and to commit the necessary resources to solving it - once and for all."
For further information:
Worldaware: Helen Triggs 020 7603 8574 Sally Canty 02380 283255
Note to editors
Worldaware is a UK charity which aims to promote the widest understanding of global development issues, their importance and the interdependence of today's world.
The Worldaware Awards recognise both large and small businesses and institutions. They were established 14 years ago and have become a sought after source of recognition by companies, organisations and institutions involved in sustainable commercial and educational projects.