As star cyclist Nicholas Dlamini prepares to ride the 2014 Cape Rouleur beginning this weekend, he's also raising funds and awareness as our Elton John AIDS Foundation Ambassador.
The campaign has particular significance for Nicholas, who hails from the small community of Vrygrond, located 30kms outside Cape Town.
With up to 13% of adults and children in Vrygrond infected with HIV, the Elton John AIDS Foundation worked with Annie Lennox’s SING Campaign and the Vrygrond Community Development Trust to establish the Vrygrond Community Centre (VCC) in 2010. The VCC continues to provide vital services for the local community today.
The VCC is owned and run by the local community as a hub of support, treatment and care for people affected by HIV/AIDS. It runs skills training and job creation, vegetable gardening for the users of the centre, income generation and marketing support for women, and provides a social worker with a team of community care workers to address social problems and gain access to social grants.
As Lennox commented at the opening of the Centre, “It was absolutely inspiring to see the transformation that has taken place on what was once a piece of waste ground. Vrygrond is a haven, an island of positive influence and loving care, serving the most vulnerable in the community. It is such an honour and privilege to have been part of its creation.”
Throughout the Cape Rouleur, Nicholas will be raising funds for the Elton John AIDS Foundation via JustGiving, as well as sharing his progress here on EJAF.com. Prior to the race, he’ll also be visiting Kheth’Impilo, a Foundation-funded organisation developing pharmaceutical support services for people living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa. In his capacity as Ambassador, Nicholas heads a team of cyclists from UBS who are also riding to support the Foundation.
To support Nicholas and the EJAF/UBS team with a donation to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, visit www.justgiving.com/nicholas-dlamini