45 Brussels Airlines employees took off to Dakar today for the third edition of Bike for Africa. Tomorrow 20 CEO’s and top managers of Belgian companies will join them, when they start a 5-day, 400km mountain bike tour through Senegal and The Gambia to support both local and Belgian organizations and to raise awareness about the potential of the African continent in the aftermath of the Ebola crisis. The goal: raise 150,000 euro.
Bike For Africa was first organized in 2011 in Rwanda and Burundi, when the airline’s employees and Belgian companies raised €93.000 for SOS Children’s Villages. Two years later, the team followed into the footsteps of Stanley in Uganda. Bike For Africa raised €140.000 for the CoRSU Hospital in Kampala and the United Fund for Belgium that year. This time, Brussels Airlines wants to raise €150.000 for three different charities in The Gambia, Senegal and in Belgium.
Brussels Airlines deliberately chose West Africa as for Bike For Africa this year, to once again shed light on the Africa is not Ebola initiative, launched by the airline to help rebuild Africa’s reputation after the Ebola epidemic, which caused great economic harm to the continent. 45 Brussels Airlines employees participate in this third edition of Bike For Africa, together with 20 Belgian CEO’s and top managers, including Brussels Airlines CEO Bernard Gustin, Bernard Marchant from Rossel Group and Tom Vande Cruys of Lampiris. Also joining them as an ambassador is singer Piet Goddaer (Ozark Henry). Bike for Africa is organized within the context of b.foundation for Africa, the Corporate Social Responsibility program founded by Brussels Airlines in 2010. With this program the airline supports numerous NGO’s and humanitarian projects that share the same passion for Africa., including the initiatives from its own employees.
“We have a strong connection to Africa, it holds a special place in our hearts. That is why we have never discontinued our flights to the Ebola stricken countries and why we have started the Africa Is Not Ebola awareness campaign, through which we want to make the world see that this fantastic continent has so much to offer both economically as well as in terms of tourism. Bike For Africa was created as a teambuilding to actually discover Africa from another point of view and to support local projects”, says Bernard Gustin, Brussels Airlines CEO