Howzit Inkwazi Adventures Community,
I wanted to send you a final update before our Inkwazi Adventures #BIKES4ERP drop this Saturday. This is when the benefit and impact of your generous contributions become a reality; changing the lives of 50 young students in South Africa.
It has been a long wait as we've had to navigate the complexities of COVID-19, and we are grateful that we are still able to deliver the bicycles and change the lives of young students, and their communities this weekend.
The planning and co-ordination of the drop has been made slightly more complex with a lot of uncertainty along the way. However, to quote the words of Hannibal Smith from the A-Team, "I love it when a plan comes together."
This Saturday your generous contributions will not only change the lives of the 50 students, but also the future of their families and the communities they live in.
This drop would not have been possible if it hadn't been for all the generous donations we have received from our Inkwazi Adventures Community. If you are reading this and have made a contribution, we thank you and you should feel excited about this life-changing event happening on Saturday. I can't stress enough how your contribution is going to change the lives of the students that will be receiving their very own bicycle... and for many students, this will be their very first bicycle ever.
The final weeks leading up to this moment has been filled with lots of planning and co-ordination. I wanted to give you a sense of what has been involved to prepare for this weekend.
Last week we hosted an 'Online Information Session'. This was an engaging video conference between some of our Inkwazi Adventures Supporters in Australia, the founders of #BIKES4ERP (Nicolai and Gert) and two of the Inkwazi Adventures leaders (Anneke and I) based in South Africa. Personally, it was fabulous to put faces to the names and to engage with our Inkwazi Adventures Community directly. It was so encouraging to share more information about the #BIKES4ERP program, but also get to know some of our supporters better. Nicolai and Gert talked through the origins of #BIKES4ERP, shared some the amazing statistics to illustrate the benefits from this project, and highlighted the significance of the Inkwazi Adventures contributions to the sustainability of the program.
Did you know, that in some schools they have seen academic pass rates go up from 50% to as high as 90%, because the #BIKES4ERP program.
Over the past month we have had two planning meetings, bringing together (virtually) all the #BIKES4ERP volunteers (23 of us) who will be involved in delivering the bicycles on Saturday. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, we are not able to host any Australian Inkwazi Adventurers in South Africa this time around. (Although Charles did dial in to all our meetings to listen in from down-under. Thanks, Charles!)
These meetings are fast and fun, as Nicolai takes us through the logistics and everyone is assigned an exciting job to do. Even though Nicolai won't admit it, he is a master planner. Everything, and I mean the extra COVID-19 safety precautions as well, is included in the planning. Our volunteers will be doing anything from transport, building the bicycles, putting on stickers, quality control, meal preparation, accomodation... we even have a volunteer who will be the magician on the day to entertain the kids, as well as a couple of volunteers who will be flying drones to ensure we get some exciting footage to share back with our Inkwazi Adventures Community.
This year there will be two separate drops on the Saturday... This is a #BIKES4ERP first, or as Nicolai would say... "We like chaos and we embrace it".
At the first location we will deliver 15 bicycles and at the second location (about an hour's drive away) we will be delivering the remaining 35 bicycles. At the first location we will set up the gazebos and marketing material, assemble the bicycles, engage in the formalities with community leaders, parents and children, and then hand over the bicycles. Then we will pack up and do it all again at the second location a few hours later. It is going to be an exciting challenge, but we get to experience the life-changing moment twice.
Obviously, a big consideration this year is ensuring that we keep everyone safe. Therefore, everything is cleaned, sanitised and social distancing will be adhered to at all times. These communities are so remote and do not have cases (or minimal cases) of COVID-19. We have all the right measures and controls in place to ensure a safe event.
On Monday we had our final planning meeting to review the remaining items for the Inkwazi Adventures #BIKES4ERP 2020 drop.
We are now almost ready to go. Just to give you a sense of what we are expecting when we leave for the drop on Friday:
We will leave Pretoria on Friday, 23 October. The drive to the Blouberg (Blue Mountain) area will take about five hours. We will take it easy by stopping for lunch and perhaps have several stops for Gert to work his magic in capturing the journey. We will have an early evening to rest for the Big Day.
On Saturday, 24 October, we will be running on all cylinders to complete the two drops as mentioned above. That evening we will reflect around the campfire and talk about this special event. This is also where funny stories regarding the day come out and we have a good laugh about it.
On Sunday, 25 October, after enjoying a scrumptious breakfast and one final team meeting, we head back to Pretoria. (If you join our RESET2021 adventure next year, this will be when we will split from the #BIKES4ERP team and head towards the bushveld for the Hiking Safari.)
We are excited. We are grateful. We are humbled. We are ready. We can't wait. Thank you again for making our Inkwazi Adventures #BIKES4ERP drop possible.
You can stay up to date with the drop this weekend by following our Facebook page. We may even share a some live images and a few photos as the events take place. (We are heading into rural South Africa, so that means unreliable cellphone reception. But, we will try our best.)
In the coming weeks we will share more details about the experience. It is sure to inspire you, and will hopefully encourage you to continue supporting our RESET2021 drop planned for next year in May. Our goal is to fundraise 21 bicycles for 2021. Maybe you may even join us for the next drop?
Cornel van Onselen
Inkwazi Adventures Leader