The Leeds MP and Shadow Peace Minister, Fabian Hamilton is set to cycle over two hundred and fifty miles in four days to raise funds for a charity run by churchgoers from Morley to give poor and undernourished African children boiled eggs at school.
He is supporting the volunteer run charity, Funzi and Bodo Trust – started ten years ago by BBC journalist, Ashley Peatfield and his teacher wife, Sara who worship at St Peter’s Gildersome. In that time the charity has developed a remarkable project in two “mud hut” villages in Kenya.
Sixty two year old Fabian who has represented Leeds North East for the past twenty years is known in Westminster as “the biking MP” because of his passion for bicycles and motorcycles.
But this Thursday (Aug 10), Fabian will embark on one of his toughest trips yet – cycling to Halifax’s twinned town of Aachen in Germany to support the Funzi and Bodo Trust.
Ashley and Sara were so shocked by the poverty they encountered in the Kenyan villages of Funzi and Bodo, they set out to provide medical care, clean water, schools, and libraries and were determined to help local people help themselves by offering start up grants for small businesses to feed their families.
This road trip through Belgium, Holland and Germany will support a free-range chicken farm for 2,500 birds. The eggs they lay will ensure local schoolchildren – many of whom often go hungry - have boiled eggs in school, giving them valuable nutrition. The farm will also teach them and their parents agricultural skills and the remaining eggs will be sold to buy medicines for the charity’s two medical clinics.
Fabian, whose Parliamentary duties have included international relations and overseas development, said he felt passionately about the charity and its work.
He said: “It’s something for Yorkshire to be proud of. The Funzi and Bodo Trust has had a huge positive impact on the lives of some of the poorest people.
“The charity started from small beginnings, is run by volunteers, and yet has achieved great strides in healthcare, education and helping people to support themselves.
“Go to work on an egg” is a familiar phrase in the UK, and this clever scheme is taking that good advice to a new level,” he added.
Fabian will be assisted in his challenge by his wife Rosy who will drive the support vehicle. His efforts have seen cross party support and also won backing in both the Commons and the Lords and he’ll be keeping his supporters informed of his progress through his Facebook page.
Fabian will be given an official send off from Millennium Square on Thursday 10 August at 10am. Join him - or bring your bike and join him on the first leg to Hull!
If you want to help: www.justgiving.com/Funzibodo or you can text FUNZ62 to 70070 which will immediately give the charity £10.