Cyclist participating in the Cycle in 2015. | Photo: Cycling Kosovo for Children.

Cycling tour around Kosovo to raise funds for mothers and children

A charitable bike tour around Kosovo will gather funds for a local NGO to purchase equipment for the maternity ward in Gjakova.

A four-day long cycling trip around large portions of Kosovo titled Cycling Kosovo for Children will get going on Thursday to collect funds for Action for Mothers and Children, AMC, a Kosovo NGO that combats child mortality and implements programs to improve health care for mothers and infants.

The tour, which starts in Prishtina at 6:00 am on Thursday, will take about 30 cyclists through cities and natural landmarks in Kosovo, with a brief diversion into Albania, to end on June 10 in Prishtina with a fundraising event at Miqt Pub. The organizers are also seeking funding through a crowdfunding campaign on the Kosova Ideas platform.

According to Mark Dixon, one of the participating cyclists, donations will be used to purchase a gas analyzer machine to diagnose early respiratory conditions in infants for the maternity ward in Gjakova.

“Our goal is to raise at least 10,000 euros through corporate sponsorship or direct donations, we wanted to identify a charity that had a proven track record, and had no political or ethnic affiliations, we identified AMC, which supports neonatal care in the country. Kosovo has very high infant death rates and this seemed an ideal charity to support,” he said.

Over the past four years, Cycle Kosovo for Children has raised 50,000 euros and purchased equipment for neonatal clinics in Peja and Prishtina.

“This idea came about in January 2014, [when] myself and two friends Stephen Walsh and Tom Flanagan were out cycling  in Kosovo, I had just been involved in a small collection for items for Christmas to a local community, and we thought some form of charity cycle ride in the summer would be a good idea,” Dixon said.

In 2014, the event raised about 10,000 euros and purchased a hematology analyzer for the maternity unit in Prishtina. Next year, the event raised 15,000 euros and bought UV lamps for incubators at the University Hospital in Prishtina. The last two events gathered about 13,000 euros and 8300 euros respectively, purchasing cardiopulmonary monitors and CRP equipment.

This year, the cyclists will be escorted by Kosovo Police officers along whole 300 kilometers of the route. The first portion of the route goes through Prishtina, Podujeva, Mitrovica, Peja; the second portion through Junik, a small part of northern Albania, and Gjakova; the third through Dragash, Hotel Prizren and Hotel Sharri, and the last portion through Shterpce, Viti, Gjilan and then back to Prishtina.

06/06/2018 - 16:55

06 June 2018 - 16:55

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.