A Look Back at Five Years of Rachel’s Ride
Over the past four years, Rachel’s Ride for Rwanda has knitted together a community of people that spans from Canada to Rwanda. Through rain and shine, soaked clothes and sunburns, families in Canada have biked together to raise funds for Wellspring’s work in quality education in Rwanda. Four years have passed since the spark of this event. Four years of excitement and planning. Four years of a community rallying together. Four years of Rachel’s Ride growing and flourishing. And this week, Rachel’s Ride is hitting half a decade!
But let’s take a look back on the journey.
Rachel Fitz, now sixteen years old, dreamed up the idea of a family fundraiser when she was 11 years old. As a child, she lived in Rwanda for three years and when she moved back to Surrey in 2013, she wanted to help make a difference in the lives of her Rwandan friends. Rachel partnered with Wellspring and volunteered at our annual fundraiser, Lake2Lake, a bike ride that stretches over 200 kilometers in the Okanagan. Though excited to help, Rachel wished there was a family-centric event that she could participate in. On the drive home, she dreamed up the idea of a family bike ride and quickly began to jot down the idea. Before her parents were awake the next morning, she emailed Wellspring and waiting anxiously for a response. When Wellspring emailed back, we told her how much we loved the idea!
And so Rachel’s Ride for Rwanda was born. A ride that children, families, and anyone could participate in, no matter their age.
Rachel’s Ride began in 2014. Eight riders cycled the route and together they raised $5600. Since then, the ride has grown exponentially and has generated over $40,000 for quality education in Rwanda. This year, eighty-seven riders are registered and over $14,000 has already been raised for Wellspring!
But how does participating in a family bike ride in Langley, British Columbia impact education in Rwanda?
When the riders fundraise, the money goes straight to Wellspring, which helps our Rwandan trainers empower leaders, teachers, and parents to take ownership over the success of their local school. We equip every member of the educational ecosystem with the skills to play their unique role in the education of their children. We’ve already seen success in the forty-nine schools of the Gasabo district. Students are happier and healthier, dropout rates are decreasing and kids are returning to school, and exam results are increasing. Gasabo has become one of the top performing school districts in Rwanda. Now, we’re rolling out our School Development Program to a whole new region of Rwanda, the Rubavu district. Bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, this rural region is one of the poorest in the country. No matter their circumstances, kids here deserve the same quality education as children around the world. We want to see them equipped with an education that will help them reach their God-given potential and break out of the cycle of poverty thrust upon them.
Which means that, with each turn of a rider’s pedal during Rachel’s Ride in Langley, children’s lives in Rwanda are being transformed.
This year, we set our hopes high for Rachel’s Ride—it’s the fifth anniversary after all! We’re aiming for 75 riders who raise $35,000 to transform education in Rwanda. Already, the response is exceeding our expectation! Registration closed on June 12th with eighty-seven riders. $14,000 has already been raised with a few days to go before the ride at Derby Reach Park on June 23rd. You can be part of this story too! By sponsoring one of our riders, your gift will have immense impact as it helps build community in Langley as well as transforming education in Rwanda.