The Young Heroes Foundation held their 5th annual aids fundraising bike-a-thon last week, cycling border to border across the beautiful kingdom of Swaziland, Africa. Not many visitors to Africa end up appearing onstage at a festival that both MTV and CNN rate as one of the best in the world – unless those visitors are taking part in Young Heroes’ Swazi Cycle.
“This year, Swazi Cycle proved to be the most successful yet. With the help of our DoJiggy fundraising website, 14 participants raised over $99,000 from people who pledged to support their efforts.” Steve Kallaugher, President at Young Heroes.
At the end of the bike-a-thon every year, Swazi Cyclists are honored guests who appear onstage at the fabulous MTN Bushfire Festival. The festival donates all of its profits each year to Young Heroes, so its producers want to acknowledge the participants and thank them in a very public way for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of some of the poorest children on earth.
Each of the 14 Swazi Cycle event participants created and managed their personalized pledge page and invited friends and family to support Young Heroes through secure, online donations. But the event isn’t just for serious cyclists: While seven intrepid bikers made their way along the dusty roads and paths of the kingdom, another seven travelers joined Young Heroes’ staff in visiting rural communities to enroll new families in the program. In just five days of enrollment, the volunteers signed up over 350 more children who will now become eligible for help for the first time in their lives.
Young Heroes Foundation supports families of orphans in Swaziland, the nation with the world’s highest rate of HIV/AIDS. Launched in 2006, the organization now supports just over 1,000 children with monthly stipends for necessities such as food and clothing; medical care; and vocational training for those who age out of monthly sponsorship when they turn 19.
Free fundraising resources are available online for aids walks and bike-a-thons to help organizers plan and manage a walk-a-thon fundraisers from start to finish.