Welcome to the family ‘change agents’

Welcome to the family ‘change agents’

Last night was a key milestone for the team as we prepare ourselves for the
7600km ride through nine Southern African countries. It was our first opportunity
to meet those who went from being mere sponsors and benefactors to instant ‘family’.

The purpose of the meeting was for the riders to meet the UN team but more
importantly, for us to understand why we are embarking on this trip. We met
with Agness Phiri (Marketing/Communications), Redawaan Hendriks  (Operations
Manager) and Nomcebo Manzini (Regional Programme Director).

While listening to the Director speak, it dawned on me how serious a
problem violence against women and girls is within our society today. To
paraphrase Nomcebo, violence against women and girls is now considered a ‘pandemic’.

The fact that they had chosen to do a motorcycle trip with a bunch of hardy local
riders had much more behind it than first expected. They selected our
“pastime”, or shall I say biking lifestyle, specifically because of the
tough image people usually perceive us to have.

While most of my close friends will snicker at the mere thought of me
donning the title of ‘badass biker’, believe me when I say that I’m in the
company of a team of experienced riders – bikers in the true sense of the

Nomcebo Manzini (Regional Programme Director) and Fanie Haarhoff (Dealer Principle Harley Davidson Johannesburg).

That brings me to our mission.

As we head out as UN Ambassadors, we will be “change agents” within the
communities we pass through. We will engage people, and use our
two-wheeled lifestyle to convey the fact that we respect women and the
critical role they play within a healthy society.  But more importantly,
the fact that there’s absolutely no room for violence in this partnership.

Even more interesting is the director’s vision for this to
spill over into the larger biking community. We have to spread the word and
activate our peers with a vision of creating a two-wheeled movement, Speak
Out! and end violence against women and girls.

  1. Geoff Simmons 30 October, 2012

    Totally away from the subject of the ride, but in this main photo, doesn’t Pierre look like a younger Rolf Harris! 😉

    1. Werner Puchert 30 October, 2012

      🙂 @geoff we do lovingly refer to him as the “Colonel” if u get my drift?

  2. Pierre Delport 30 October, 2012

    Hi Geoff, i cannot play the diggiridoo, but can fry chicken!

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