MARANGONI supports bicycle ambulance transport in northern Zambia
What connects retreaded tires for trucks, buses, and mobile work machines with bicycle ambulances in Zambia? Quite simply: MARANGONI’s connection to Guy Heywood, a passionate British long-distance runner and supporter of the non-profit organization Transaid.
Transaid is a globally active organization that, like MARANGONI, operates in the transport sector but in a completely different way. They collect donations with the aim of supporting transport and mobility projects wherever people lack adequate access to public transportation, goods delivery, or medical care. Donations are acquired through the support of companies in the mobility sector, among other means.
One of Transaid’s numerous projects involves the production and provision of bicycle ambulances in three regions in northern Zambia, specifically in the provinces of Petauke, Katete, and Chipata. Due to poor or virtually nonexistent roads, there are no ambulances available here. Those who are sick or experience a medical emergency must walk to the nearest doctor or hospital, which is hardly possible in cases of severe illnesses. This particularly affects children with the frequent occurrence of malaria and pregnant women with complications before or during childbirth.
Bicycle ambulances are a life-saving solution here, and they have been provided by Transaid since 2008. Guy Heywood, a long-time supporter of the organization, says, “Each of these bicycles has saved about 40 lives per year so far – with a manageable investment.”
Heywood supports this project by participating in long-distance runs, during which he seeks donations from companies in the transport sector. He recently ran the world’s largest half-marathon, the “Great North Run” in the UK. He had two goals: to finish among the top 10% of approximately 60,000 runners and to fundraise for ten bicycle ambulances this year.
He achieved the first goal solely through his own efforts (and a personal best time), and MARANGONI contributed to achieving the second goal by financing three new bicycle ambulances.
Matthias Leppert, MARANGONI, says, “We were delighted to support this project because it is well thought out and saves lives – and also because Guy Heywood, who approached us about it, is exemplary in his commitment. Donations are passed on 100% to Transaid. It’s a comforting thought to know that with our support, seriously ill children and expectant mothers receive the medical care they urgently need. Moreover, this project also demonstrates that mobility is not only a basic need but can also be life-saving.”
Transport by bicycle is often the only means of bringing seriously ill individuals to the nearest doctor or hospital in northern Zambia. MARANGONI has financed three bicycle ambulances with a donation to Transaid.