Cycle with JoyRide Westport at Noon on Friday to Help Rebuild a School in Africa

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 JoyRide Cycling + Fitness Studio, a boutique studio for indoor cycling and cross-training classes, will host a fundraising ride at 12 noon on Friday, April 20 at the Westport studio to help fund rebuilding a school in Africa.

Crossing Thresholds woman and child

Photo from the CrossingThresholds.org website

Rev. Gary Morello of First Congregational Church of Darien, who is also a former JoyRide instructor and Darien resident, will lead a team of 75 people, including JoyRide co-owner and lead instructor Rhodie Lorenz and her family, Westport residents, this June.

The goal of the mission is to rebuild a school that burned down before Christmas last year, providing a safe place to learn for more than 300 children in the Kibera Slum of Nairobi.

“All children across the globe should have equal opportunities to succeed but unfortunately this doesn’t currently exist,” said Morello, who who has participated in five missions to Kibera with the American organization Crossing Thresholds. “This is the conviction behind our purpose to build schools. As Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon in which we can use to change the world.’”

The 50-minute ride will be held on Friday, April 20 at 12 noon and will be led by Lorenz, Morello and popular instructor and DJ Mo Prester.

“I am so excited about the opportunity to serve on the mission trip to Kenya with Gary and my family!” said Lorenz. “Service and travel have always been important to me and are values that I want to pass along to my sons.

“This trip will be both an adventure and a life-altering experience away from Fairfield County,” Lorenz said. “I believe that our highest calling is to be of service to others and for our six days building a school in the Kibera Slums, we will have the chance to make a difference in the lives of the children and open are hearts and minds to how other cultures struggle and can thrive. We will most definitely be getting out of our comfort zones to grow ourselves and help others.”

The Kibera slum is home to roughly one million people. This unauthorized settlement on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya is the densest slum in Africa, andthe second largest slum in the world.

Since the Kenyan Government does not recognizethe residents’ right to live there, they do not provide local infrastructure, like a sewage system, schools and medical facilities.

Tens of thousands of Kibera’s children are still waiting for the chance to be in school.

“After entering the gates of Kibera I did not have a choice whether or not I could choose,” said Morello. “I had to do something.”

To reserve a bike in this inspiring fundraising ride, please visit this Web page.

The suggested minimum donation is $40 per rider. Advanced sign-up is recommended. To learn more about the missions, please visit this Web page.

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