Brussels Airlines bikes through Uganda for charity

Brussels Airlines bikes through Uganda for charity

Tomorrow morning 40 Brussels Airlines employees will take off to Entebbe to travel 450km through Uganda in one week…by mountain bike. Under the name Bike for Africa they will bike from Jinja to Murchison Falls to raise money for charity.

Tomorrow morning a group of Brussels Airlines employees will set sail for Uganda, where they will bike 450km for charity. They will walk (or rather ride) in the footsteps of Sir Henry Morton Stanley (in his search for the missing explorer David Livingstone) and Winston Churchill, starting at the legendary source of the Nile and ending at the magnificent national park Murchison Falls in the north. A strenuous bike ride, since the biggest part of the trip will be off-road and under the blistering African sun.

On Saturday, a group of 13 Belgian CEO’s, including Jacques Borlée, Bernard Marchant (Rossel Group), Christian Van Thillo (De Persgroep), Bob Verbeeck (Golazo), Geert Noels (Econopolis) , Tom van de Cruys (Lampiris) and Hans Bourlon (Studio 100) will join Bernard Gustin, CEO of Brussels Airlines, at Lake Kyoga, where they will bike the rest of the trip together with the Brussels Airlines employees. On the last day of the trip Piet Goddaer (Ozark Henry) will host a concert for the group at the closing event in the Murchison Falls park.

“Africa is at the heart of our company, and it is essential that we take our responsibility and give back to the communities we fly to. With our CSR program we support not only many NGO’s that are active in Africa in terms of health care – but also our own colleagues who in their free time support local communities in need. Bike For Africa is a way of giving back and at the same time highlighting the unique landscapes of this beautiful continent”, explains Bernard Gustin, CEO of Brussels Airlines. “But as a Belgian company and ambassador of our country, it is also important to give a helping hand to Belgian organizations who commit themselves to assist people in need in our own country.  That’s why we’ve chosen United Fund for Belgium (UFB) as a humanitarian partner.”

The biking trip through Uganda is the second edition of Bike for Africa. In November 2011 a first group of Brussels Airlines employees biked 300 km from Kigali, Rwanda to Bujumbura, Burundi. Supported by financial contributions of sponsors, the 40 bikers raised 93.000 EUR for SOS Children’s Villages, with which they were able to perform more than 1.000 medical consultations in Africa.

“Bike for Africa is an initiative that we, as Brussels Airlines staff, are extremely proud of. Apart from the charitable efforts, highly appreciated by the local communities and authorities, the first edition was a huge success in many other aspects: It is a great physical challenge, a beautiful trip through the unique African landscape, being welcomed by hundreds of enthusiastic people in the villages we cross and, above all, it is a fantastic team building event”, says Ilse Verhelst, Internal Communications Manager of Brussels Airlines, and organizer of Bike for Africa.

This year Brussels Airlines aims to raise 100.000 EUR. One part of the money will go to CoRSU, a private hospital which sponsors the rehabilitation and surgery of disabled children in Uganda. Another part  will be donated to United Fund for Belgium, a Belgian non-profit organization that helps people in need in Belgium by financing projects of charity associations, mostly focusing on child welfare, reduction of poverty, support to disabled persons and social integration.  

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About Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines is Belgium's national airline, connecting the capital of Europe to more than 80 destinations, whereof 17 in Sub-Saharan Africa, the continent Brussels Airlines considers its second home. Moreover, Brussels Airlines offers 65 destinations in Europe, 3 in North America and Tel Aviv. The company has over 4,000 employees and 48 aircraft operating some 250 flights daily, flying more than 10 million passengers a year to, via and from Brussels Airport. Thanks to its no-compromise positioning, Brussels Airlines combines competitive fares with the highest service quality.  With yearly changing Belgian Star Chefs, its wide offer of Belgian food and drinks and the six Belgian Icons, Brussels Airlines is an ambassador of its country, bringing the world to Belgium and the best of Belgium to the world.

Brussels Airlines offers cargo capacity on all its flights, commercialized by Lufthansa Cargo. The airline also handles the daily maintenance of its aircraft fleet.

Brussels Airlines is part of the Lufthansa Group and is a member of Star Alliance. The company was founded in 2002 and is 100% owned by Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

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