Clifford Mugambi loves seeing children happy.
He has been going out of his way to put a smile on the faces of those who have been neglected, abused or orphaned, partnering with well-wishers to make them live comfortably.
And while he has been reaching out to friends for assistance in several cases, the wanting situation at a rescue centre near Isiolo International Airport junction perturbed him.
The New Dawn African Girl centre has been housing girls who are orphaned, abused and needy from Isiolo and neighbouring Meru County, offering counselling and supporting their education.
No regular water supply
When he visited the centre late last year, Mr Mugambi was sad that girls at the institution in the semi-arid region had no regular supply of water.
He resolved to organise a funds drive to raise money to sink a borehole for the centre that is barely six years old.
“I, immediately after returning to Nakuru where I work as a driver, thought of cycling and started training, which lasted until last month,” Mr Mugambi told the Nation.
He then publicised the event online under #RoadToWater and reached out to friends to join hands in the bike ride that would also create awareness on the need for all road users to respect cyclists.
Accompanied by his friend, Mr Bondia, he left Nakuru town at 5am on Sunday. He cycled 270 kilometres to Isiolo town, a journey that took him 12 hours, including a short break in Nanyuki town.
His employer, the Jonathan Wallace Foundation, and philanthropist-cum-politician Mwenda Thuranira, offered logistical support, including a vehicle and reflector gear.
Addressing journalists when he arrived in Isiolo town at around 5.35pm, Mr Mugambi said he had only raised Sh190,000 out of a target of Sh300,000 for a borehole.
“I am so happy, having completed the distance and the much that I have raised so far. I thank God for everything and trust we will be able to raise enough at least for a shallow well,” he said.
Besides domestic use, the regular supply of water, he said, will enable the centre to plant crops and become food secure.
The centre’s director, Ms Nancy Kathure, said it hosts girls rescued from female circumcision, early marriages, abandonment and abuse, orphans and those in violent marriages so that they can lead secure lives.
“Apart from offering asylum to the girls from violent families, we also assist couples iron out their differences and ensure peace before the children are allowed back home.”
Financial constraints, however, hampered the institution’s aim of offering various technical courses for the girls to prepare them for the job market, she added.
The cyclist appealed to the Isiolo county government, organisations and well-wishers to chip in and assist the centre grow and achieve its potential.