A large group of bikers descended on Hartbeespoort last weekend as part of a 1 000 km ride to raise money for life-saving medical care for less fortunate children in South Africa.
The ride was one of two annual ‘outrides’, organised by the non-profit organisation Pediatric Care Africa for its project, 1 000 operations for 1 000 children.
Pediatric Care Africa was founded by Dr Andre Hattingh, a retired neurosurgeon, who worked throughout Africa in various medical fields. He has also designed, built and managed several hospitals in various locations in Africa.
“I was doing volunteer work in Rwanda during the Tutsi genocide in 1994 where, according to official records, 86 000 children were killed. The number was actually much much higher. It was then that I decided that one day, when my kids are grown up, my house was paid and my beard was grey, that I would do something for the children of Africa and South Africa,” Andre says. “I never forgot that promise to myself and three years ago when I retired, I founded Pediatric Care Africa. We identify special needs in children and assist with visits to specialist, supplying medical treatment and medication as well as life changing operations.”
The organisation aims to provide 1 000 operations for 1 000 children every year, 800 in South Africa and 200 in neighbouring countries.”One of the ways we raise money is with the bike trips. Bikers from all over the country join in these rides to create awareness in order to help children in need.”
Although medical assistance is the organisation’s main aim, members also assist during disasters like the Idai cyclone in Mozambique in 2019, as well as supply food to hungry and malnourished children on an ongoing basis. “During the current Covid-19 pandemic, we have already handed out over 80 tons of food.
Dr Andre Hattingh and a group of motorbikers embarked on the City to City Bike Ride last Thursday from Witrivier, via Pretoria, Hartbeespoort, Magaliesburg and Alberton back to Witrivier to raise funds for much-needed operations. Their other annual outride is a 22 day trip, covering 6 800 km around South Africa.
“I have been riding bikes for the past 30 years and when doing work like this, you use what you have, and If I can do good while enjoying it, so much the better.”