Frank van Rijn is the ambassador of CooP-Africa, Cycling out of Poverty. Frank is a global cyclist and writer. He spends a large part of his live on his bicycle. What once started as a hobby became a way of life. He writes about his adventures in the farthest corners of the world in his books and talks about it in his famous presentations.
Why is Frank supporting CooP-Africa, Cycling out of Poverty: “The weekly village markets are without any doubt one of the most picturesque images in Africa. During my bicycle trips I have visited many of them and it was always a pleasure to walk between the stals and making photos of the sellers seated on the ground. A number of kilometers before reaching the village it was already clear to me that it was a market day, since tens or hundreds of women usually in colourful clothes and baskets of fruits and vegetables on their head were flocking the road. This colourful and cheerful side of Africa made my trips extra fascinating, but sometimes I wondered whether these women experience it in the same way. For them it was pure necessity to walk 5, 10 or may be 15 km with a basked filled with fruits on their head. After years of commuting between home and market it could just be that that colour had faded for them, it seemed to me.
Africa often gave me mixed feelings: on one side the delight of the couleur locale, on the other side the unpleasant thought that I was playing fast and loose with my snappy bicycle loaded with camping gear, while these people would never raise above this poverty level.
Once I got a good idea: If these people would have a bicycle just like me, they would be able to ride to the market, enabling them to carry a bigger load in a shorter time. And they would cycle to the river or well for drinking water, to a remote and needy relative, to the doctor who is far away… But almost imidiately I put that thought aside, because how in earth can these Africans afford such a special vehicle?
Luuk and Marieke have answered this question with their wonderful foundation “Cycling out of Poverty”. Well done!” accoding to Frank van Rijn.
For more information about Frank van Rijn, go to http://www.frankvanrijn.nl/