Our second rest day in Kolwezi started like the first - a relaxed breakfast and the team then got down to bike repairs - mostly focussing on repairing spare fuel tanks where possible, checked shocks, tightened up the steering bolts and reset steering dampeners and a general once over as we have a straight 6 day ride now until we get to Kinshasa, without much time as there are a few tough days and long days in store for the Boyz!
Mark, Charles and the Randgold team went off with representatives of the Lualaba and Katanga Mining Industry to visit two chosen recipients for donations from the NVEP foundation.
We visited the Orphanage Mamam Thabitha - an amazing story of a family converting their home into a refuge for neglected and abandoned children - they now care for 80 children from 4 months to 16 years and their facilities are stretched to say the least - Nos Vies en Partage will be supporting the construction of a dormitory and other facilities - one thing as we have found wherever we go - special people giving needy people a home and love, and the result, happy children with a chance to do more than survive! All praise to Jean Paul and Maman Catherine and their helpers.
And the second was an orphanage best described as a self-help programme called Maison Kwetu, founded and supported by Father Damien, an American missionary who has been doing this for 35 years - collecting street children and working with them to get them back into society - the Maison Kwetu (Swahili for Home) looks after 45 children and includes mentally and physically handicapped children. The concept is that they live and manage themselves and are taught life skills and through a leadership structure care for themselves, do their own maintenance and have even built their own residence - they also run a small farm on the outskirts of town - again Nos Vies en Partage will be supporting them with specific needs, teaching aids and school uniforms. Visiting these places is both humbling and rewarding - these souls are clearly better off than many, many children across Africa despite their origins and backgrounds.
The day ended with a cocktail event supported by the Provincial Governor and his cabinet, local dignitaries and our sponsoring partners, including members from the Lualaba mining Industry and the Chamber of the mines - Mark, with the help of the Governor and the President of the Chamber of Mines, formally handed out the cheques to the orphanage principles.
Final packing and a light dinner - early bed ahead of an early start and BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN!!!
Should you wish to make a donation to the Nos Vies en Partage Fundraising drive then please click here