1 May 2012 - Adrien Niyonshuti, the only Rwandan cyclist to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games, has thrown his support behind the first-ever London-Paris ride raising funds for the Aegis Trust. Taking part in pre-Olympic training in the UK last month, Niyonshuti met Rony Cohen, organizer of The London to Paris ride www.riding4charity.org, and expressed warm support for the initiative.
The ride is raising funds specifically for Aegis’ unique peace-building education programme in Rwanda, helping a new generation to learn about the dangers of prejudice and building trust between the children of survivors and perpetrators.
Thanks to match-funding of up to US$100,000 for Aegis’ peace-building education from OneWorld Boston, a Cummings Foundation Affiliate in the United States, Aegis is now able to double every donation made in support of the programme – including all sponsorship for the London-Paris ride.
Recent independent analysis has found that not only is the education programme changing attitudes and behaviour among the students taking part, but also among the school communities from which they come – including fellow students who didn’t attend.
“Personally I find what Aegis does in Rwanda amazing – such as educating the youth on how to stop ethnic division or any other divisions which can lead to another genocide in Rwanda,” says Adrien, who is himself a survivor of the 1994 genocide, in which he lost six of his brothers.
Adrien’s own incredible journey – from survival of the genocide to competition in the 2012 Olympic Games – will feature in a documentary about Rwanda’s national cycling team to be released later this year. Aegis sourced and provided the historical archival material for the documentary. To follow the journey and find a screening near you, sign up for updates at www.risingfromashesthemovie.com.
“Adrien is an inspirational athlete and yet such a humble man,” says Rony Cohen. “I’m so proud to have met him, and I just hope that people reading this will join Adrien in supporting Aegis by sponsoring the London-Paris ride at www.riding4charity.org. We all wish him success in the Olympic games.”
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