Twenty Belgian business leaders together with 45 Brussels Airlines employees cycled 400km from Dakar (Senegal) to Banjul (The Gambia) last week for the third edition of Bike for Africa. The group raised €150,000 to support three local and Belgian humanitarian projects and to raise awareness about the potential of the African continent in the aftermath of the Ebola crisis.
The third edition of Bike for Africa was again a great success. The deep sandy off road tracks made it a strenuous effort at times, but everyone made it to the finish line on the beach of Banjul.
45 Brussels Airlines employees participated to this third edition of Bike For Africa, together with Belgian CEO’s and top managers: Brussels Airlines CEO Bernard Gustin, Brussels Airlines CCO Lars Redeligx, Bernard Marchant (Rossel Group), Tom Vande Cruys (Lampiris), Gilles Samyn (International Duty Free), Jean-Paul Philippot (RTBF), Hans Bourlon (Studio 100), Jeroen and Wouter Dewulf (Ulvenhout), Jan Dekeyser (Thomas Cook Belgium), André Schaffers (Deloitte), Maurits Lemmens (deMENSEN), Barth Foucart (Luxaviation), Steven Polmans (Brussels Airport), Christian Van Thillo (De Persgroep), Frank Van Gelder (Adelantex), Kris Poels (Adelantex), Frank Van Gelder (AFHI ACS), Chris Burggraeve and Marnix Kuijpers. Belgian singer Piet Goddaer (Ozark Henry) also participated to Bike For Africa as an ambassador and treated the group to a mini concert in Banjul.
Brussels Airlines chose West Africa as the location for Bike For Africa this year, to once again shed light on the Africa is not Ebola initiative, launched by the airline to help rebuild Africa’s reputation after the Ebola epidemic, which caused great economic harm to the continent. The humanitarian project in Senegal that will benefit from the Bike For Africa funds are Murielle Africa, a maternity founded by the Belgian Murielle Jonckheere. In The Gambia, the funds go to the maternity of the Horizons Clinic. With the money they have installed solar panels. The third beneficiary are the Junior Bears on Wheels, a Belgian basketball team for disabled children. With their funds they will buy new wheelchairs and a truck to transport them.
Bike for Africa is organized within the context of b.foundation for Africa, the Corporate Social Responsibility program founded by Brussels Airlines in 2010. With this program the airline supports numerous NGO’s and humanitarian projects that share the same passion for Africa, including the initiatives from its own employees.
“We have a strong connection to Africa, it holds a special place in our hearts. That is why we have never discontinued our flights to the Ebola stricken countries and why we have started the Africa Is Not Ebola awareness campaign, through which we want to make the world see that this fantastic continent has so much to offer both economically as well as in terms of tourism. Bike For Africa was created as a teambuilding, to discover Africa from another point of view and to support local and Belgian projects. It was again a very successful edition, with a great group of people and we intend to organize a fourth edition in 2018”, says Bernard Gustin, Brussels Airlines CEO