A KEEN cyclist from Calcot has pedalled across the country to help build classrooms so children in Nicaragua can go to school.
Over 11 days last month, Darren Allwright travelled from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise funds for a project run by child development charity Compassion.
Darren and nine others hoped that their pedal power will raise more than £2,300 to build two classrooms in the Rayitos de Sol Child Development Centre, north-east of Nicaragua’s capital Managua. As Xn went to press, he had already reached 96% of his target.
In June, Darren visited Nicaragua where he sponsors two children, Katherine and Andru, through the child development charity Compassion. During his trip Darren was deeply moved by the plight of the children in the country.
“Meeting Katherine and Andru was both humbling and inspiring,” he explained. “I was astonished at the difference my sponsorship is making in their lives, by providing them with food, education and healthcare, but I was also aware that the facilities they were learning in were incredibly inadequate.
Darren was so moved that he signed up for the trek, which took place from August 18-31.
Speaking ahead of his ride, he said: “By cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats I hope to raise enough money to rebuild the classrooms and improve the educational access for children. It will be a tough ride, but the difference it will make to those children’s lives is immeasurable.”
Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Central America. Life is particularly tough for youngsters: a third of all Nicaraguan children are malnourished and only 29 per cent of them finish their primary schooling. In some cases, children are forced to work for a living, with an estimated 167,000 of them currently involved in child labour.
The Rayitos de Sol Child Development Centre is run in partnership with the local church and Compassion, to ensure that the poorest children in the community have access to healthcare, education, food, clothing and social care. Due to a lack of space three classes are taught simultaneously in the church building.
“Currently, the space is small and crowded,” says Angie Reyes, project director at the centre. “There are more children in need in our community and, as a church, we have the vision to reach them. It will be possible when we have an improved space to give them the attention that they deserve.”
For more information, log on to www.justgiving.com/darrenallwrightcycle