I just finished my fourth Amashova and my third 106K cycle race. Other than the first, which was the 38K exercise for beginners, every event has been an opportunity to showcase CRP, The Children’s Resiliency Project.
CRP is an orphan village situated in Ashburton, South Africa – just south of Pietermarizburg – and is the brainchild of a friend and colleague, Dr. Robert Graham. I’ve known Bob for fifteen plus years and have worked with him on various short-term projects here in South Africa. His professional life was centered in education prior to coming to South Africa but he has always had a strong interest in at-risk-kids and now focuses all of his attention on the orphan epidemic marring the South African community.
Although the main focus of my ministry is church planting I am sympathetic to the cause and provide support whenever I can. One way to do that is wear the CRP logo while riding the Amashova. I also let friends and associates know about this race and ask them to consider making a donation to the project. Hence this post.
You can get up to date information about the project here and securely make donations on the site.
There are, of course, many orphan projects springing up in South Africa but they aren’t all equal. In fact, some are downright shameful and government authorities have stepped in to shut a few down. Orphans can be prime targets for the unscrupulous so policing must be done to protect the innocent.
But, getting back to CRP, Dr. Bob had a well-formed philosophy before he started and every inspector has been only impressed with the village as it develops. A few of his stated principles are:
- Grannies with good character would be sought and vetted to care for no more than six kids each.
- The government will be involved in finding and assigning children to the orphan village.
- Grannies will have full responsibility for the kids. Bob doesn’t think solid grannies need anyone to tell them how to raise kids.
- Government subsidies for childcare will be applied for and managed by the grannies. This money will provide food, clothing and other necessities for the kids.
- Homes adequate for housing six kids and one or two care givers each will be provided by those sponsoring the project.
- Expenses exceeding the government subsidies will also be provided by the sponsors.
In Bob’s words he is empowering grannies not controlling them and his intention is to provide a great setting in which to bring up these kids. The village has a basketball court, a tennis court, a play ground, a soccer field and a garden is being developed as well. Eventually there will be a day care for the youngest and a center to care for abandoned infants until they can be placed in a permanent setting.
The children attend local schools and will be afforded every opportunity for a healthy life and good education.
Bob has developed a great model. Hopefully it can repeated many times throughout the community. Any donation you make will help at-risk-kids overcome daunting circumstances to reach a better life. Please be generous.
About the race.
This last Shova was the 24th annual race with over 10,000 participants, local and international, and it was GREAT fun! Beginning in Pietermaritzburg the course weaves its way alongside the Valley of a Thounsand Hills and down to the Indian Ocean port of Durban.
This year the weather was a bit windy and the cool conditions brought on the cramps but with only a light scattering of clouds the conditions were right for a great race and a good tan, unless you happened to be fit enough to finish before the sun came out. Just so you know, I wore sun screen.
The course offers beautiful views and, with complete road closure, is billed as a “safe” event. As you can see from the route profile the most interesting characteristic is the variation in altitude. Ultimately the race is downhill but there is a lot of uphill before you descend and the descent is never only downward.
If you are a cyclist and brave enough to tackle the gruel of climbing and the danger of descending think about riding the Amashova.
If you are a humanitarian think about a donation to CRP.
Either way, you will be better for it.