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Transaid international development charity seeks transport and logistics teams to trek Ethiopia

Transaid is looking for team players from across the transport and logistics industry to participate in its February 2011 fundraising project, Trek Ethiopia.

The international development charity finds transport-related solutions to problems in Africa and the developing world. It provides emergency transport and improves driving standards in countries where inadequate services and driver training are responsible for countless deaths – and it’s calling on industry teams and individuals for help raising funds.

Transaid Events Executive Aggie Krasnolucka-Hickman says: "September and the return to work after summer can trigger the autumn blues. Getting involved in a project with a group of colleagues is a good way of beating that – and knowing that by doing so you’re supporting a project with an extremely meaningful cause only adds to the fulfilment.

"Trek Ethiopia provides an opportunity to see some incredible sights, get fit, bond with fellow workers and help save the lives of thousands. We’d urge anyone keen on participating to get in touch as soon as they can before the last places get snapped up."

The nine-day trekking challenge through the Simien mountains – dubbed the ‘Tibet of Africa’ – will bring participants face to face with Ethiopian culture, including opportunities to see historic cities and national parks populated by rare species.

Already enrolled is Clare Bottle, Chairperson of Women in Logistics. "Women in Logistics is so proud to support Transaid that we have decided to put our money where our mouth is, by joining Trek Ethiopia," says Clare. "It’s a unique opportunity to have an international adventure and raise awareness for our industry’s official charity."

Funds raised from Trek Ethiopia will go to Transaid’s Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS) in Nigeria, which provides women with access to emergency obstetric care during pregnancy. Women in sub-Saharan Africa face a 1 in 13 chance of dying during childbirth (against a 1 in 4,085 in the industrialized world) – and access to facilities is so poor that many must walk miles after going into labour to seek help.

Transaid Chief Executive Chris Saunders says: "The lack of access to healthcare for pregnant women in Africa is a hugely important issue which urgently needs addressing. We’ve heard some wonderful stories of volunteer drivers going to extraordinary lengths to help pregnant women as part of our ETS project. It is equally inspiring to see volunteers from the UK going to similar lengths to raise money for Transaid to fund these projects."

Transaid supporter and Wincanton General Manager Sarah Ward is enrolled on Trek Ethiopia’s sister project, Cycle Tanzania (November 2010), with human resources colleague Katie Gilbert. She says their joint training and fundraising efforts have hugely enriched their working relationship.

"I’d recommend that anyone thinking about Trek Ethiopia round up some team-mates from work and do it together," says Sarah. "Sharing the anticipation that naturally builds before such a life-changing experience is half the fun."

Trek Ethiopia runs from 4-12 February, after which there is an additional option of staying on to explore the country. Visit www.transaid.org to download a registration pack. Alternatively, call 020 7387 8136 or email aggie@transaid.org to request an information pack.

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