About

About the Safari Simbaz

The Safari Simbaz Cycling Centre is a non-profit organisation based on the outskirts of Kikuyu, about 15km from Nairobi, Kenya.

The project is the brainchild of David Kinjah, Kenya’s most experienced and decorated cyclist. He is a cycling legend in Africa, having won numerous events and mentored Chris Froome (the Tour de France winner for the third time this year).

His vision is to reduce poverty through the bike and, for the last 15 years, he has dedicated his time to doing just this.

The Safari Simbaz programmes involve children from townships and villages in a positive, after-school activity. The purpose is to give youth of disadvantaged communities the skills and opportunities to make a success of their lives.

David believes that sports like cycling give children the opportunity to become both physically and emotionally strong, building both confidence and self-esteem.

Life skills such as courage, determination, dedication, teamwork, perseverance and resilience are key to achieving success. Life skills like learning to win modestly, lose graciously and strive for excellence are also integral to this activity.

Through the power of the bike, champions are made for life.

Of the 45 million people who live in Kenya, nearly 50 per cent of the population is under the age of 15. A large percentage of these young people live in villages and townships where there are high levels of poverty and unemployment. This makes them vulnerable to petty theft, crime and substance abuse.

The Safari Simbaz was founded with the intention of using the sport of cycling to involve youth living in these communities in a positive activity. It helps alleviate the challenges they face in their everyday lives and gives them life skills to better deal with their situations.

Why Cycling?

 Cycling is an aspirational sport, particularly for those living in villages and townships.

To those living in impoverished areas, David Kinjah is a hero with what he has achieved on the bike. He is an example of what is possible, even when you come from an underprivileged background. People love and aspire to be like him.

His passion for the sport and his infectious energy has had a positive impact on many children, whether they have the potential to be bike mechanics or safari guides.

Sport is an integral part of a child’s education

The reality is that many children from underprivileged backgrounds living in townships and villages do not have access to sporting facilities because the schools they attend have limited resources that do not stretch beyond maybe a field, if the children are lucky.

This is why the Safari Simbaz is grateful to both its friends and sponsors for the support that is given to them.

By helping disadvantaged children participate in cycling, sponsors have not only created a fun, positive after-school activity but, more importantly, they have invested in the future development and growth of Kenya through the empowerment of its youth.

 

Safari Simbaz Training Programmes

The current Safari Simbaz Educational Centre is small and full. It is a rented property and offers only the basic facilities and buildings that are tin structures.

But much is achieved with informal training in the following areas:

Bike mechanics and maintenance

Bicycle safari guiding (in partnership with Rift Valley Adventures)

Cycling instructors (in partnership with Rift Valley Adventures)

Fitness and conditioning through amateur cycling, which is beneficial for the children’s physical health and mental well-being.

The Safari Simbaz vision

 Since its inception, the Safari Simbaz have grown in leaps and bounds to the extent that a new centre is required that is not rented. The vision is to extend what is currently offered to include:

  • A workshop with different departments for learning and production (including woodwork)
  • A cycle shop and garage
  • An IT centre

A farming area or greenhouse, where children can learn how to grow crops which will also produce food for participants at the Safari Simbaz Educational Centre.

safari-simbaz-aboutThis project, with its extended facilities, will be able to offer more, to more children in nearby communities as the number of development skills offered increases.