October 28, 2021
By Mike Ziemerink
This year’s Ride for Refuge did not disappoint, especially for new moms and babies in Mozambique.
After having our best fundraising year ever in 2020, we decided to set our sights high with a goal of $40,000. Not only did we meet that goal, we exceeded it, to make the 2021 Ride PWRDF’s best year ever. As of today PWRDF has raised $47,470 that will go to support the Light for Every Birth project in Mozambique. That is nearly $3,000 more than our record breaking Ride last year and 118% of our $40,000 goal.
Out of the 75 charities that participated across Canada, PWRDF is currently ranked 10th. There were 66 participants spread across 15 teams coast to coast, contributing in unique and safe ways, thanks to the ride freestyle option.
Some participants did the classic 25km bike ride through wet weather conditions. Others hiked, walked, crocheted and of course Primate Linda Nicholls returned with her ever popular Hymn Sing, raising more than $3,800, surpassing her total from 2020. PWRDF’s Volunteer Coordinator, Kim Umbach, ran all 42.2 kilometres of the virtual Boston Marathon in support of this year’s ride, after training all summer.
This year’s fundraising efforts will ensure rural health clinics in Mozambique have light for essential functions, such as delivering a baby in the nighttime. Our partner EHALE will install 50 solar suitcases, a wall-mounted unit that opens like a suitcase and includes phone charging ports, a portable headlamp and a fetal Doppler to monitor baby’s heartbeat. The suitcase is connected to a solar panel mounted to the roof.
Olinda Magaia, Executive Director at EHALE, joined PWRDF for a celebration of Light for Every Birth and Ride for Refuge fundraising success and spoke about the excitement for the new suitcases that are currently enroute to Mozambique.
“People, after they see what the solar suitcases have done to other communities and their impact, they call me and say ‘you have to protect us, you have to bring a solar suitcase to us,” said Magaia through a translator, about previous solar suitcase installed by PWRDF in 2016 and the excitement for the 50 suitcases currently en route to Mozambique.
Thank you to everyone who participated in and supported our campaign. Thanks to you, clinics in Mozambique will shine brighter than ever. We can’t wait to do it all again next year.