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Transaid recruiting volunteers for 2012 Madagascar challenge

International development charity Transaid is seeking 40 intrepid volunteers to cycle almost 500 km through Madagascar in support of its life-saving work in Africa.

Cycle Madagascar, a challenging nine-day trip in June 2012, will see participants ride across the north east of the island, through remote villages, paddy fields, lush tropical fruit plantations and along coastal trails.

Funds raised will benefit the charity’s Professional Driver Training Project, which aims to improve driving safety standards in sub-Saharan Africa. Road crashes in this region are the third-highest cause of premature death after HIV/AIDS and malaria, and which the World Health Organisation estimates could take over as the primary cause of death and disability by 2020.

Transaid CEO Gary Forster says: "Our Madagascar challenge is an opportunity both to experience a spectacular landscape and culture and raise much-needed funds to reduce the death rate in Africa.

"It will give participants first-hand experience of the country’s poor infrastructure and highlight how urgently their help is needed to improve driving standards."

He adds: "It’s not necessary for volunteers to have above-average fitness levels or previous experience. All it takes to succeed is a sense of adventure, regular training and fundraising and a commitment to making a difference."

Cycle Madagascar has already attracted interest from staff at Wincanton, Bandvulc, Michelin, IPP Logipal and Aspray 24.

It is one of several ‘Challenge Yourself for Transaid’ initiatives the charity is running, and follows the success of previous trips to Tanzania, Ethiopia and Zambia.

These have helped fund various programmes including an Emergency Transport Scheme for Pregnant Women and a Bicycle Ambulance Project.

For more information, visit www.transaid.org, email events@transaid.org or call Aggie Krasnolucka-Hickman on 020 7387 8136.

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