Big ride for big projects
FROM Bendigo all the way to Uluru, one man is riding his bike to raise money and awareness for charity.
Brad Hodge, chair of the I Am Someone charity, is currently training for the 2229-kilometre trip to the heart of Australia.
“I’ve done these kinds of rides before, but I’ve never done anything quite this long, and certainly not this dry,” he said.
“I like an adventure; I like a challenge and it gives me a reason to get some fitness and that’s really useful in winter. But also, having the dual purpose of building exposure for the organisation.”
I Am Someone supports locally driven projects across Africa, in countries like Uganda, Sierra Leone and Kenya.
Mr Hodge, who works in the rural health school at La Trobe University, said the work the charity does aligns with his professional interest.
“The work that we do in I Am Someone is all focused on supporting communities and children in rural and remote areas,” he said.
The charity has been responsible for setting up schools, building homes, loaning rice and agriculture projects such as building milling machines in Africa.
For 15 years the not-for-profit organisation has been supporting some kids throughout their schooling, and Mr Hodge said a big focus of their work is getting children in remote communities into higher education.
“They’re coming back to us with the grades they need to go to university and the determination to change the world a little bit,” he said. “In terms of outcome that stuff is gold.”
Mr Hodge said the charity is fully volunteer based and prides itself on being able to donate all money, and provide support directly to, local communities.
“One of our core beliefs is that when you pay $10 that $10 should go directly to the projects overseas so we have a really strong commitment to that,” he said.
The ride will see Mr Hodge travelling 120 kilometres per day, with just four rest days.
He’s set himself a goal of $10,000 to raise, with money funding crucial water projects in African communities.
“It would allow us to improve the water security dramatically of a couple of our projects,” he said.
“One of our projects, they need a well. They really haven’t got secure water and another one is in desperate need of repairs.
“The start of everything is water, you can’t do agriculture without water, you can’t eat without water so that’s why we’ve chosen to put money towards water for these projects.”
The big ride begins on 14 August, and you can follow Mr Hodge every kilometre of the way via his Facebook page BendigotoUluru or his website bradhodge.com.au.