Cycling the road to Zanzibar for Health Improvement Project Zanzibar
This June Majenta Solutions Director Manish Amlani, a generally fit and healthy chap, is taking part in a mammoth 313km cycle ride around ‘The Spice Island’, otherwise known as Zanzibar. It might sound crazy and a hell of a challenge, but it is for a worthy cause and we want to share his journey with you, blisters, bust knees and all!
About the charity:
Health Improvement Project Zanzibar (HIPZ) was established as a charity in 2006 with the aim of improving healthcare across Zanzibar. Founded by Ru Macdonald, a consultant in the UK, Ru has worked in Zanzibar and Tanzania for many years and has built a strong relationship with The Health Sector and Government in these countries. The HIPZ vision is to develop high quality, accessible and trusted healthcare & clinical services to the people of Zanzibar, and the neighbouring island of Pemba.
Zanzibar has one main hospital in Stone Town, which acts as the main referral centre for over 1 million people. There are 2 smaller hospitals Kivunge in the north and Makunduchi in the South. The Makunduchi hospital was the first project for HIPZ and since 2006 they have successfully transformed the hospital into a primary healthcare unit. While support work continues with Makunduchi, the focus is now on developing Kivunge.
Why support HIPZ?
In Zanzibar life expectancy is sadly only 47 years. One in 180 women die during delivery of their baby and 1 in 6 children die under the age of 7, with the majority dying under the age of 2.
Kivunge hospital urgently needs developing, HIPZ will then be responsible for the delivery of healthcare to nearly 250,000 people. Improving Kivunge will have a dramatic impact on the whole process for providing healthcare and clinical service to the entire population of Zanzibar.
Also known as ‘The Spice Island’, the country of Zanzibar consists of three islands just off the coast on Tanzania, in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
Unguja is the main island, stretching 50 miles long and 20 miles wide. The island is surrounded by stunning palm tree lined, snow-white beaches and clear waters housing beautiful coral gardens. A great destination for nature enthusiasts, snorklers and divers; turtles nest on the shores and whales, dolphins, and hundreds of beautiful fish are everywhere. In land, spice farms are plentiful and the beautiful native forests are the only home in the world to the rare red colobus monkey. However, we mustn’t be blinded by romantic images of sandy beaches, clear water and incredible wildlife; the people of Zanzibar need our help.
About the Challenge:
The Challenge is 11 days in total, 5 days travelling and preparation with 6 grueling days of cycling! As beautiful as Zanzibar is, this is no holiday! Across the 6 days cycling Manish will be covering between 20km and 86km a day, every day! Through forests, along beaches and through towns, sounding idyllic? Try doing those distances in nearly 30°C heat and over 60% humidity, day after day. Although the landscape will be stunning, some sights will be tough as Manish will get to see first-hand the daily challenges faced by the people they are there to help, reminding him why he is taking part in this epic cycle ride. What’s more, he’ll be following in Peter Andre’s footsteps… a hard act to follow!
Why is Manish doing it?
We have asked Manish this question a few times, just to check that he is committed to the challenge! Of course we are all being incredibly supportive making sure he has purchased his padded shorts and chamois cream! There’s no doubt that this is an imposing challenge for Manish, having taken part in challenges such as Tough Mudder before, Manish knows he likes a challenge and is hoping the knowledge of the good work done by HIPZ will carry him though the long distances!
Manish was born in Uganda, he arrived in the UK in the 1970s, his family were among the 60,000 Ugandans expelled by the country’s president Idi Amin in 1972. To this day Manish and his family feel that it was only from the charity and good hearts of others that they managed to settle in the UK, and are now able to live such healthy and happy lives. Manish believes supporting a cause such as HIPZ is his opportunity to help other families who deserve a chance to live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives. The bike challenge has been held once before back in 2013, when Peter Andre took part! Manish’s close friend Biral Patel, a Urology Consultant, also completed the challenge, and has been the inspiration for Manish to sign up. Biral will also be taking part this year; one of a few doctors taking part, so Manish is in good hands!
The distances may seem easy to the everyday cyclist, but for Manish this is a real challenge for which he is training hard. This is his chance to fly the flag for a charity that isn’t very well known and that really needs all our support, as well as being a huge personal achievement for “a 46 approaching 50-year-old” man, his words not ours!
How can we all support:
We will be supporting Manish with his training, and although we can’t guarantee that we won’t chuckle at his ‘aches, pains and walking like John Wayne’, we are cheering him on already!
We will be following Manish’s journey using #PedalManish and will keep you all updated with his progress.
To support Manish and donate to the HIPZ please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ManishAmlani-HIPZ-2017
This is not just a jolly; with glorious beaches and scenery you’d imagine he was off to paradise! But a tough challenge with a lot of sweaty long days ready and waiting for him! All money you donate to HIPZ through the Just Giving Page will go directly to HIPZ -Manish is funding his own trip and expenses to and around Zanzibar so all the money donated will go directly to the charity!
Every penny counts, even a few pounds can make a real difference…
£5 buys an inhaler for an asthma patient
£10 provides essential immunisations for 5 babies
£25 feeds one child with acute malnutrition
£50 ensures the safe delivery of a baby
Well Manish is safely back with us! At Majenta Solutions we are so proud of Manish, not only for completing the cycle challenge but for raising over £2000 for HIPZ!
Post challenge, Manish shared his thoughts…
“It was such an incredible and humbling experience! I met some amazingly inspirational people. During my last few hours on the beautiful island of Zanzibar I reflected on an amazing week, my parting thoughts were with the people we were about to leave behind.”
“The charity HIPZ UK has achieved so much but there is still so much that needs to be done.”
“The third day of our cycle challenge included a visit to Kivunge Cottage Hospital, one of the hospitals being supported by HIPZ. A tour of the maternity facility demonstrated to me what part of the donations are going towards. It’s quite sobering to think that before HIPZ came on the scene mothers preferred to give birth at home because they felt it was safer!! HIPZ has changed that and now the hospital helps around 200 new borns safely into our world each month.”
If you haven’t already donated, there is still time! Please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ManishAmlani-HIPZ-2017
Here are some photos of Manish’s exciting challenge!