Solving the problem of delivering healthcare in rural Africa since 1988.
1986 - The beginnings
Riders for Health (Riders) was the idea of Barry and Andrea Coleman, a British husband-and-wife team along with racing legend Randy Mamola. In 1986, the Colemans went to Africa with Save the Children who had told them that one of the biggest problems they had in getting the children immunised was reaching the ones in remote villages. They saw abandoned motorbikes left by the earlier aid workers.
1988 - Solving the problem
Riders began to develop systems to deal with this problem. Firstly they put in place a system that ensured that vehicles could be serviced in places where this is no infrastructure for such maintenance. They knew that the motorcycles, if well looked after, would be ideally suited for the harsh African landscape where roads where often in dire condition or non-existent. With the help of Save the Children, the local governments and money raised at bike rallies in England they set up pilot maintenance programs in Uganda and Gambia, Riders for Health helped acquire motorcycles and train riders and technicians.
1991 - 1996 - The first successes
Riders built a fleet of 47 bikes in Lesotho that delivered health-care services from 1991 to 1996 without a single breakdown. This reduced the disease and illnesses by getting patients much-needed medicine. Riders expanded into Ghana, Zimbabwe and Nigeria and diversified its fleet to include refrigerated trucks, minivans and ambulances and introduced a motorcycle ambulance fitted with a sidecar called the Uhuru that can also be used as a water pump.
The Next Chapter - Two Wheels and Riders for Health
In May 2016 Riders announced the closure of its UK fundraising office. Riders for Health continues to operate in Africa, managed by local staff in those countries. Two Wheels for Life is a fundraising organisation set up to raise money internationally with the aim of increasing access to healthcare using transport. It partners with Riders for Health to deliver programmes in Africa.
Initiatives fail because of the lack of reliable transport in rural Africa. The programmes we support prevent this problem
A fleet of 47 bikes in Lesotho delivered health-care services for five years without a single breakdown
Now run entirely by African staff, Riders' programmes are supported by Two Wheels for Life's fundraising work.
Members of Malawi team shown above.