“All the donated drugs in the world won’t do any good without an infrastructure for their deliver.” Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization

Riders for Health is a great charity that started within the motorcycle world when a group of workers from the grand prix paddock started general fundraising for children in developing nations. During trips to Africa in the 80’s, Barry and Andrea Coleman and Randy Mamola realized a couple things were happening, or not happening so to speak. They noticed a lot of delivery vehicles, a large number of them motorcycles, were broken down and not being repaired due to lack of funds. They also learned that a lot of children in remote villages were receiving no healthcare due to their remote location and lack of vehicles to deliver medicine/nurses etc to the region. Thus Riders for Health was born. Riders now has programs established in Gambia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania.

A brief overview of Riders for Health:

  • Operates in five countries (the Gambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania)
  • Employs 230 people in Africa
  • Manages 1,274 vehicles
  • Reaches 10.8 million people
  • Has helped increase the proportion of fully-immunized infants in The Gambia from 62% to 73%
  • In Zimbabwe there has been a 21% decline malaria in Binga district, in which all health workers are now mobile, compared with a 44% increase in neighboring district.

There are currently three Riders chapters in the US.  Riders for Health Northern California is the chapter I saw set up at an event in San Jose this past weekend at the European Motorcycle and Scooter Show, which is how I found out about the group. Los Angeles, CA has a chapter and Chicago, Illinois  has a chapter. Check them out and lend your support or start your own chapter.

I have been realizing more and more lately how lucky we are to be living in the US. And we can bitch and moan all we like about this or that crap but we have it pretty good. And once you realize that maybe you can look at those a lot less fortunate and lend them a helping hand.