CYCLING FOR CHANGE: Fifty committed cyclists will ride with passion and purpose in the eighth annual Ride for MRP Foundation which kicks off in Johannesburg on December 3. PICTURE: TIM LUBBE / MRP FOUNDATION
The Ride for MRP Foundation is not just a challenging 606 km two day cycle ride from Johannesburg to Durban (December 3-4), it’s an opportunity for fifty brave cyclists to help empower South Africa’s youth by raising much needed funds for MRP Foundation’s high impact programmes.
Since the inaugural cycle ride in 2010, the heart of the Ride for MRP Foundation has been to raise funds and awareness for MRP Foundation programmes that helps young South Africans to unlock their full potential. The 2017 edition is hoping to raise one million Rand with Springbok and Rugby legends John Smit, Wayne Fyvie and Jeremy Thompson also stepping up to the challenge to assist South Africa’s youth.
As a youth development organisation, MRP Foundation’s mission is to empower youth from low-income communities as they journey from school into a career, empowering them to become part of the solution to end poverty and inequality. Since 2005 the MRP Foundation’s skills development programme, Jump Start, which teaches life skills and offers experiential training to young job seekers, has trained 22,045 unemployed young South Africans. Of these, an incredible 11,205 previously unemployed youth have found employment in the local retail and supply chain industries.
MRP Foundation’s programmes in education and skills development, as well as the inspiring ride, demonstrate the power of partnership and how joining hands with business, beneficiaries and others can lead to more good being done together. One example of this belief in action is MRP Foundation partnership with SPAR, with Jump Starters finding employment in SPAR stores. This is a relationship Graham O’Connor, The SPAR Group CEO, believes is possible because of shared altruistic values.
“We share the same belief that every young person should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential and this year’s Ride for MRP Foundation will once again heighten that awareness and highlight that everybody has a contribution to make. Through Jump Start, we’re laying the foundation to address our manpower needs through a sustainable conduit, and at the same time, helping and assisting in alleviating unemployment which resides amongst South Africa’s youth. To see how we have changed the lives of young people through the opportunity of employment into our stores really talks into the real heart of our Group.”
Aubrey S'kumbuzo Makhaza, from Dassenhoek, Marianhill is just one of the many Jump Start beneficiaries who embraced the opportunity to join Jump Start. He found employment at Pinetown SPAR after completing the work readiness programme:
“On my first morning morning I was introduced to the store manager. He welcomed me and was very friendly. I work in the Deli section preparing food for customers and love my job. It's a nice environment to be in and I have learned that if you humble yourself, people will like you in a minute. The staff are like my family and one day I even hope to own a Super SPAR with an organic rooftop garden!”
Ride for MRP Foundation Cyclists:
KZN/North Coast: Craig Jones (Ballito), Andrew Bateson (Ballito), Jonathan Morse (Simbithi)Quintus van der Berg (Umhlanga), John Smit (Durban North)
KZN/Upper Highway: Natasja Ambrosio (Hillcrest), Keagan Matthews (Hillcrest), Claire Matthews (Hillcrest), Bruce Macdonald (Hillcrest), Michael Rowland (Hillcrest), John Armstrong (Hillcrest), John Campbell (Hillcrest), Tiffany Keep (Hillcrest), Wayne Englund (Hillcrest), Paul Kraus (Hillcrest), Matthew Wickham (Kloof), Lauren Brown (Kloof), Dylan Cherry (Kloof), Dave Duke (Kloof), Greg Stedman (Kloof), Travis Stedman (Kloof), Kevin Bonner (Kloof), Tanner Quinn (Gillitts), Gary Raath (New Germany), Peter-John Paulson (New Germany), Bruce Titmuss (Pinetown), Clynt Lund (Winston Park), Mhlengi Gwala (Chesterville)
KZN/Durban: Brad Rowlett (Durban), Randy Walker (Durban), Mark Sterley (Durban), Fanele Mbuyazi (Durban), Jeremy Thomson (Durban), Mike Viljoen (Durban), Wayne Fyvie (Durban)
KZN/Pietermaritzburg and Surrounds: Mboneni Ngcobo (Cato Ridge), Tessa Hesse (Pietermaritzburg), Rob Alexander (Pietermaritzburg), Dion Ross (Ashburton)
GAUTENG/Johannesburg: Leon Crous (Ruimsig), Nolan Waldhausen (Craighall), Nigel Payne (Sandton), Matthew Lee (Fourways), Ryan Katz (Parkwood), Geoffrey Lee (Parkwood), George Oertel (Benoni), Gordon Weir (Bedfordview)
MPUMALANGA: Gary Watson (Secunda).
WESTERN CAPE: Taschyana Hurter (Green Point), Sarah Alexander (Cape Town)
The 2017 Ride for MRP Foundation edition partners are: Absa, SPAR, Futurelife, CMH Nissan Durban, Expand-a-Sign, Maxed, City Logistics, KTM South Africa, Traderplus, Cyclesphere and Giant Bicycles.
Help us raise One Million Rand for programmes that assist young South Africans like Aubrey by donating here. You can also stand a chance to win a new Nissan Micra Active from CMH Nissan Durban by donating R20 MRP Foundation.
Watch Aubrey’s inspiring story here.