Three business graduates from Trinity College Dublin have raised more than €128,000 for charity by completing a gruelling cycle through Africa.
Denis Dwyer, Oliver Fegan and Niall Treacy teamed up with five South Africans for the 12,452 kilometre journey in aid of the Millennium Promise Fund, an organisation that works with impoverished communities in Africa. The eight cyclists, who are in their 20s and have a background in finance, linked up through Facebook, the social networking website.
The journey along the east coast of Africa, from Egypt to South Africa, took six months to complete. Dwyer said the cycle had received strong support from individual and corporate donors including Tullow Oil, Ecocem and Hunky Dorys.
‘‘The cycling was seriously tough, particularly when going through the desert of Sudan and up mountains in Ethiopia,” he said. ‘‘We were cycling novices and were doing more than 100 kilometres a day, but the experience was unique and wonderful beyond words.”
The cycle will benefit the Millennium Villages Project, which is based on the premise that impoverished villages can be transformed by investment in agriculture, education, health and infrastructure. It has been introduced in 80 village clusters in ten African countries.
Dwyer said the Irish trio was attracted to the project as it was ‘‘about community empowerment, not charity. It is not a mere finger in a dyke and we really felt it was tipping the balance in the right direction’’.