ANZA Cycling Member Liesbeth Kanis shares the story behind the bicycle fundraiser helping to stop malaria in its tracks.
Cambodia has been battling drug resistant malaria for several decades. Luckily, the number of malaria cases has significantly declined in the last six years. The decline in these mortality and prevalence rates are related to the increased usage of bed-nets and greater knowledge on malaria prevention – largely as a result of the crucial work undertaken by Village Malaria Workers (VMWs). They play an instrumental role in conducting the rapid diagnostic tests and dispensing medication to malaria patients in malaria-endemic villages, in both high and low burden areas.
Cycling for Cycles is a bicycle fundraiser in support of these VMWs who are working tirelessly in the region. Initiated by Soroptimist International Singapore (SIS) together with clubs in Melbourne and Sydney, this fund-raising initiative is also supported by the ANZA Cycling community.
Aware that many of the volunteers do not have means of transport and often find themselves having to walk to the homes of malaria patients and to the district health centres for the monthly malaria meeting, the Soroptimist clubs decided to embark on the Cycling for Cycles project, realising that bicycles would be critical in helping the VMWs conduct their work more efficiently.
Although 75-80% of VMWs are women – they tend to have more time since they stay in the village and look after the children while their husbands are away either working on the farm or engaging in forest activities – the majority of the affected and treated patients are men. The VMWs thus play a critical role in the village community and in securing the stable livelihoods of the families affected.
The work as a VMW also enables women to take on an active role in their community and provides them with responsibility and an outreach function, often challenging and softening gender stereotypes and roles.
ANZA Cycling has joined the Cycling for Cycles project and is helping to raise funds to provide nearly 170 VMWs in Battambang Province, Cambodia with bicycles.
JOIN US TO SUPPORT THE CAUSE…
ANZA Cycling hosts Club Breakfast the first Saturday of each month at Dimbulah Coffee – where breakfast is on the club for all members and first time joiners. This year, ANZA Cycling has pledged to promote a charitable cause that is close to us, each quarter. On Club Breakfast days in April, we will be asking that while the club covers breakfast, each member digs into their pockets to support the cause. Come and try a ride, enjoy a Club Breakfast and help raise funds for Cycling for Cycles. Exact dates and further information will be posted on the Facebook ANZA Cycling group (@AnzaCycling).