The Kpalimé Cycling Project was created in 2013 to develop cycling and education in the city of Kpalimé and across the country of Togo in Western Africa.
The locally-run club have done some astounding work since then. Founded by 23-year-old Togolese national road cycling champion Abdou-Raouf Akanga, the club provides the opportunity for children to learn to cycle – providing they get good grades at school. They also help them achieve the latter with financial support and resources.
“Today the best school children in Kpalimé are those who are part of our program,” says Akanga.
The club also runs the only women’s cycling team in Togo, something particularly notable given the stigma surrounding women’s cycling in Africa, and supplies all of their riders with bicycles and cycling gear.
Now the Kpalimé Cycling Project are re-developing a house into a cycling centre for the city. The centre will have means for accommodation, education – including mechanic courses for locals, crucial in maintaining and growing the cycling movement in the country – and will be the central hub for the project as a whole.
“The cycling centre would be a great start to help improve children’s lives through cycling”
Having run out of the “means to continue developing the project” though, they need your help to finish the job.
The cycling project recently launched a fundraising campaign for their cycling centre, the funds of which will go towards finishing the restoration of the house and investing in different cycling programs “like cycling development and also the education of our riders” – so they don’t have to turn anyone in want of an education away.
The project is only asking for €2,000 to reach their goal. €4 can support a child for a month. €25 for six months. €50 for an entire year. That full €2,000 could support 40 children for a full year. You can donate now through the fundraising page.
We spoke to Abdou-Raouf about the project, and about exactly what the centre and funding would mean for the community.
“The cycling centre would be a great start to help improve children’s lives through cycling,” he told us.